French President Emmanuel Macron denies UK Prime Minister Theresa May was snubbed for drinks.French President Emmanuel Macron has denied that UK Prime Minister Theresa May was snubbed when four European Union leaders went out for a late-night beer in Brussels.
Macron was spotted with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and their counterparts from Belgium and Luxembourg enjoying drinks and frites in a city centre brasserie on Wednesday night.
Onlookers said the quartet spent more time relaxing in the historic Roy d’Espagne bar on Brussels’s popular Grand Place than they did listening to Mrs May detailing her position on Brexit earlier in the evening.
But Macron insisted that the British PM’s absence was not a question of her being excluded.
“I am always happy and open to share a drink with the different leaders, so obviously Theresa May will be very much welcome,” said the French president.
“Yesterday, she left before the dinner. This is the only explanation for her absence for this after-dinner drink, so don’t worry about that.”
It is understood that Macron and Merkel went for a midnight stroll in a Brussels park following their working dinner before joining Belgium’s Charles Michel and Luxembourg’s Xavier Bettel in the bar.
Meanwhile, Macron dismissed media reports that France was preparing to impose visas on British travellers in case of a no-deal Brexit.
“It’s fake news, as some other leaders would say,” Macron told reporters at an EU summit. “We will not start visas.”
Several British newspapers said earlier this week that French contingency measures in case of a no-deal could lead to the introduction of visas for UK travellers.
The French contingency plan, presented to cabinet earlier this month, was instead meant to ensure there was no need to impose visas for British travellers even in the case of a no-deal, the Elysee said.