Many in Europe are looking to "punish" the U.K. for voting to leave the European Union, the finance minister of Luxembourg told CNBC on Wednesday.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Pierre Gramegna said that those with such an agenda would never admit to it.
"There are many people out there who are trying to punish the United Kingdom without saying it — if you ask them they will deny it," he said. "Let's try to be more positive, let's try to de-dramatize the whole negotiation."
European negotiators are waiting for clear instructions from their capitals to take to the second phase of the Brexit process, which is expected to begin Monday following a ministerial meeting in Brussels.