Aylesbury MP and Minister for Europe David Lidington is currently in Luxembourg having crisis talks with leaders of the 27 EU nations.
Speaking to The Bucks Herald he said that he believes that Europe is keen to work with the UK, but American-style lobbying will now be necessary to negotiate trade deals.
He said: “Obviously I’m hugely disappointed, my fear is that this decision will do serious harm to our economy and our influence in the world.
“However, we live in a democracy and this decision has to be respected.
“The Prime Minister is right to have made that clear this morning. He has sent me to Luxembourg to have initial discussions with the other 27 because we need to discuss the way forward.
“They would like to push on with negotiations as soon as possible so that we have some clarity. But from a British point of view a lot depends on what the new Prime Minister, and whatever he or she wants to do.
“We will need to be prepared on the British side, but also the other 27 will need to be prepared too, it is just a matter of time.”
And when asked whether he thought David Cameron’s resignation was the right decision, Mr Lidington said: “I was very sorry indeed, particularly as it is just over a year since the he won the first Conservative majority in two decades. But I do understand that after yesterday that it would feel it would not be right for him to impose a policy with which he passionately disagrees. I am very sorry about it, but I think it is an honourable decision.”
And when asked about losing his own position in a potential reshuffle, or how his role would change now that Britain has voted for Brexit, Mr Lidington said: “The irony of all this is that without being part of the EU there is going to be even more diplomatic work. Just as the US has huge missions to lobby the EU that will be the same for Britain. But, I am not losing any sleep over my own position or whether I will get to keep it or not, six years is a long time to do any government job.”