LONDON — Prime Minister Theresa May was not invited to a traditional annual dinner of EU leaders despite Britain still being part of the 28-nation bloc.
The European Council (EC), which comprises the heads of state from each of the 28 EU countries, typically meets for a Christmas summit which involves a day of talks followed by a dinner.
David Cameron regularly attended the dinners as prime minister, and while May will be present at the day’s talks next week, she will be excluded from the dinner — an EC media briefing shows evening plans for an “informal working dinner of the 27 Heads of State or Government.”
Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, will use the dinner to “set out how the Brexit process will be handled by the EU 27” once the UK has triggered Article 50, and the move will be seen as a signal that leaders intend to present a united front against the UK in upcoming Brexit negotiations.
It is not the first time May has been snubbed by European leaders. At an October summit, May did dine with other EU leaders, but they made her wait until 1 a.m. CET (12 a.m. GMT) — “long after the dishes had been cleared away” — to make a 5-minute speech on Brexit, which was then roundly ignored.
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