Angela Merkel was pictured enjoying a beer on Friday as she urged Theresa May to get on with Brexit negotiations. "We want to do it quickly, respecting the calendar," the German chancellor told reporters in Mexico City, Reuters said.

"We were waiting for the election in Britain, but in the next few days these talks will begin. We will defend the interests of the 27 member states, and Britain will defend its own interests."

The EU position has been boosted after May's plan to strengthen her hard Brexit mandate spectacularly backfired, with the Conservatives failing to win a majority at the UK general election and having to strike a controversial alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party.

Guy Verhofstadt, the chief Brexit negotiator for the EU Parliament and outspoken federalist, described May's humiliation at the polls as an "own goal".

"Yet another own goal, after Cameron now May, will make already complex negotiations even more complicated," the former prime minister of Belgium said on Twitter.

Elsewhere, EU Council President Donald Tusk said he did not know when the Brexit talks would begin, despite the start of the negotiations having been previously planned for around a week's time. "We know when they must end," he said. "Do your best to avoid a 'no deal' as result of 'no negotiations'."

Eurosceptic David Davis has been reappointed as Brexit Secretary and vowed to "get on with job". Pro-Brexit Tory MEP David Bannerman, a co-chair of Conservatives for Britain, told IBTimes UK that Britain needed "genuine stability" amid speculation about May's political future in the wake of her election humiliation.

"It's very much up to the prime minister what action she takes, but the country genuinely needs stability as we begin these vital Brexit talks," he said.

Bannerman added: "I think it is very disappointing - we wanted an enhance majority to help get Brexit legislation through - but it is not disastrous. We are still in government, the British Union is far safer thanks to the SNP meltdown, and Brexit progressing.

Negotiators aren't voted in, they are appointed. The number of parliamentary seats is relevant to getting legislation through, but no so relevant to the talks themselves. We have 10 days to prepare and engage in the talks.

"I take heart that the anti-Brexit parties had the worst night: the Liberal Democrats lost Nick Clegg and the SNP are neutered now. They'll be debates on the details but I believe we'll have a genuine Brexit, not a false one."

General Election 2017: results