EU Referendum

EU summit: The 'English' meals the leaders have missed out on

It has been billed as the crunch summit where David Cameron battles to secure agreement for his EU reforms.

But as the talks have dragged on, a sub-plot has kept waiting press entertained, with a succession of "English" meals dangled before the 28 leaders - only to be whisked away as negotiations extend longer than planned. First up:

An English breakfast

This was how aides to European Council president Donald Tusk billed what were to be Friday morning's triumphant talks sealing the deal. Had it been called an "all-day breakfast" they would have been covered. But the 8am fry-up was touted as the key to reaching a deal if there was no agreement on Thursday night.

With "no real progress" made, it was pushed back to 11am, giving it more of an air of a brunch. As it happened though, the bilateral talks carried on.

English lunch

Image copyright Twitter

As announced by European Council president Donald Tusk's spokesman, it was then put back to 14:00, before going the way of the breakfast and the brunch.

Image copyright Twitter

Afternoon tea

Or, as an EU spokesman put it, "late English lunch". With Europe's leaders still at loggerheads, tired and surely starving, would a plate of sandwiches and scones help bridge the gap? It was meant to take place at 15:30 Brussels time, 7.5 hours after the promised breakfast.

But the scones never materialised.

English dinner

No sign of a deal, and no sign of that meal, as the breakfast/brunch/lunch morphed into an "English dinner" - with the time to be confirmed:

The "English" tag attached to each meal did not go unnoticed, as some wondered why other parts of the UK were not contributing.

Speculation raged as to what the dinner could consist of:

We might find out, with an EU source suggesting a "good chance" of a deal over dinner. But German chancellor Angela Merkel was taking no chances as she popped out for a bag of chips.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Angela Merkel (second from right) got herself some chips

She might need the extra sustenance, as leaders have been told to book a hotel room for an extra night - so they could be contemplating that English breakfast all over again.

Related Topics