Europe

Germany leader Merkel: British EU exit decision irrevocable

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right,  and German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel attend  a cabinet meeting at the chancellery  in Berlin, Germany,  Wednesday  Aug. 17,  2016.  (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel attend a cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday Aug. 17, 2016. (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reiterated that she considers Britain's decision to leave the European Union "irrevocable" though regrettable.

Britain voted narrowly to leave the EU in a referendum June 23. New Prime Minister Theresa May has yet to formally trigger the process of negotiating the country's exit from the 28-nation bloc.

Merkel said in an interview released by her party on Thursday: "The whole process of the exit still lies ahead of us, but the decision is irrevocable."

Merkel added that the decision is a test for the EU and said: "Now we must negotiate on the basis of our interests. And 'negotiate' means above all strengthening common projects."

She said that the EU offers its members a strong voice in the world that individual countries wouldn't have.