Friday, June 21

Theresa May banned from end of year dinner with EU leaders at major Brussels summit next week



Theresa May has not been invited to a traditional annual end of year dinner with other European Union leaders at a major Brussels summit next week because Britain is leaving the EU.

The regular summit of European Union leaders will last only one day and will end with a dinner where Mrs May is not invited, the indicative programme of the meeting showed on Thursday.

At her last summit in October Mrs May and the other 27 leaders had dined on pan-fried scallops, lamb with roast fig, and iced vanilla parfait.

However next week Donald Tusk, the European Council president, invited leaders for a shorter one-day meeting to be held in Brussels.

The meeting will start in the morning and is expected to end in the late afternoon.

Leaders of the remaining 27 EU countries will continue their meeting in a working dinner which the British Prime Minister will not attend.

Since Britain voted to leave the EU in a referendum in June, EU leaders have held other meetings without Mrs May.

Mrs May was invited to dinner with other EU leaders in October when, at the end of the meal, she was allowed to set out Britain’s position on Brexit.

The British Prime Minister was made to wait until “long after the waiters were waiting to clear the dishes away”, one observer said.

She told EU leaders Britain must not be shut out of discussions that affect all 28 members while it is still part of the bloc.

But later, when asked how talks had gone with Mrs May, Jean-Claude Juncker shrugged his shoulders and spluttered “pfff”, saying that he had had “no special event with Theresa May”.