Britain will not quit the European Union despite voting to do so in a 23 June referendum, Austrian Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling has said in an interview.

"In five years there will still be 28 member states," Mr Schelling told German business daily Handelsblatt.

European leaders were discussing "all possibilities", from Britain remaining in the EU to sealing "a free trade agreement on the Swiss or Norwegian model", the former businessman said.

Mr Schelling said that the United Kingdom could break up, with Scotland and Northern Ireland, where the majority of the electorate voted to stay, remaining members of the EU, while pro-Brexit England goes its own way.

In the historic vote, 52% of Britons voted to leave the EU and 48% voted to remain.

The country has since been plunged into political turmoil.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who led the Remain campaign, has resigned and top figures in the Leave campaign have also stepped down.

A leadership battle has also broken out in the opposition Labour party.

Some fellow EU members have pushed Britain to trigger exit proceedings immediately to ward off economic uncertainty, but there is no legal requirement for the government to do so.

President of the European Council Donald Tusk this morning tweeted that all 27 members of the EU are agreed that there will be no negotiations of any kind until the UK formally notifies its intention to withdraw from the bloc.

He said that Europe brought hope for decades and it is the responsibility of the member countries to return to that.

Despite Brexit, he said, the EU cannot stand still. It is the bloc's duty to address the migration crisis, hybrid and cyber threats, EU-NATO co-operation and digital single market.

MEPs applauded Mr Tusk when he told this morning’s sitting of the EU Parliament in Strasbourg that the European Council would act in the interests of the EU when discussions on Britain’s EU exit do take place.

Mr Tusk added that national capitals needed to stop accusing the EU of "weaknesses and failures".

He concluded by expressing the need to continue in the "common interest", rather than focusing on the "individual importance in what is a perpetual vanity fair".

EU's Juncker criticises 'sad heroes of Brexit'

Elsewhere, European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker sharply criticised politicians Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson as the "sad heroes" of Brexit who resigned instead of leading Britain through the EU exit they campaigned for.

"I would just note that the proud Brexit heroes of last week are now the sad heroes of Brexit," Mr Juncker told a session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

"Johnson, Farage, they are retro-patriots. Patriots don't resign when things get difficult, they stay," he added.

Meanwhile, the European Union's top economic official has criticised a British proposal to slash corporate tax to less than 15% following the nation's vote to abandon the bloc.

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said at the weekend he would seek to slash corporation tax to under 15% over fears of a corporate exodus following the 23 June referendum to leave the European Union.

The 28-nation EU gave a frosty reception to the plan, however, saying it would raise the threat of a competitive series of corporate tax cuts as countries try to lure firms to their shores.

"Going to 15% does not seem to me to be a good initiative," EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici told French radio station Radio Classique.

"We should not enter into exacerbated fiscal competition between ourselves, or fiscal dumping," Mr Moscovici said in the first public reaction by the bloc to Mr Osborne's proposal.

Mr Osborne revealed his plan in an interview with the Financial Times published on Sunday evening.

The Treasury confirmed the comments to AFP.

Prior to the Brexit vote, British tax rates on corporate profits were already set to be cut from 20% to 19% next year and to 17% in 2020.

But the new target, which has no timetable, would give Britain the lowest rates of any major economy, and put it closer to the Irish rate of 12.5%.

"We must focus on the horizon and the journey ahead and make the most of the hand we've been dealt," Mr Osborne told the Financial Times.