Two senior Conservative politicians warned Britain's prime-minister-in-waiting Theresa May that she will need to heal divisions in the party, as calls grew on Tuesday for her to move faster in opening Brexit negotiations.

Veteran lawmaker Ken Clarke said May will have to "balance the party" after the Brexit campaign exposed its "warring wings." He urged her to open talks on Brexit with EU officials in the next few weeks.

"She has a real problem bringing the warring wings of the party together," Clarke told BBC Radio 4. "Our majority [in parliament] isn't big enough to get the real headbangers together."

May attended Prime Minister David Cameron's final cabinet meeting on Tuesday, before Cameron hands over to her after seeking Queen Elizabeth II's approval on Wednesday.

May had advocated waiting until the end of this year to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which sets the rules for a nation leaving the EU, despite a clamour from many British and EU politicians to move more quickly.

Writing on The Guardian's website on Tuesday, European Parliament President Martin Schulz said he expects Britain to open negotiations on its withdrawal from the European Union "after the summer."

"Now that the country has full clarity on its new prime minister, after the summer I expect the British government to notify its intention to withdraw the UK from the EU," Schulz said.

"Negotiations must be concluded swiftly," he said. "The world will not sit idly by as Europeans navel-gaze."

Some British politicians have argued that Britain could negotiate a deal to say in the single market without having to accept EU rules on free movement of people.

But Schulz warned Britain that the European single market "entails four freedoms (capital, goods, services, persons) and not three, or three and a half."

Speaking in Brussels earlier Tuesday, EU Economy Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said he hoped the faster than expected Conservative Party election for Cameron's successor meant it was "possible that the process of the discussions with the EU also accelerates."

Clarke said prolonged economic uncertainty could damage the economy in Britain and the wider European Union.

May and her new cabinet should "sort out the outlines of our economic and trading relationships as quickly as possible," he told the BBC, adding that informal discussions were "not going to get very far."

"We can't just drift on with uncertainty," he said. "They've got to get a team together to negotiate, work out what they want."

Much attention will focus on what roles, if any, May hands prominent Brexit campaigners Andrea Leadsom, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Chris Grayling and Liam Fox in her new cabinet, amid speculation that one of those five could be given a new post of Brexit minister.

Veteran right-wing Conservative Norman Tebbit claimed May's final challenger, Leadsom, who withdrew from the race on Monday, had suffered an "intense smear campaign run by supporters of May."

The victory of May, who backed Cameron's Remain in the referendum campaign, could leave Conservatives who wanted a pro-Brexit leader "bitterly disappointed" and pushing them towards the anti-EU UK Independence Party, Tebbit wrote Tuesday's Telegraph.

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.