The EU was today accused of ‘trolling’ Britain as its leaders took to social media to revel in their time off as Brexit talks collapsed.
Chief negotiator Michel Barnier flew to Ireland for the rugby and Donald Tusk appeared to snipe at Mrs May again in an Instagram post about his English dog.
A smiling Mr Barnier posed outside the Aviva Stadium in Dublin with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste Simon Coveney and today confirmed negotiations between the two sides are over as he said this morning: ‘The talks are now between the UK government and MPs’.
Around the same time Donald Tusk , the European Council president, posted an Instagram story of himself lounging in a chair with his ‘English friend’ – his English Springer Spaniel – in what critics said was a blatant goading of Mrs May.
Anti-Brexit campaigner William Buist said that it was ‘blatant trolling’ by Mr Tusk.
EU chief negotiator had a day off as talks failed and went to watch the Ireland France Six Nations match in Dublin with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (left) and Tánaiste Simon Coveney (right)
Donald Tusk was accused of trolling Britain by taking to Instagram on the day talks failed to cuddle his ‘English Friend’, his spaniel
EU Brexit chief Michel Barnier opted to watch rugby in Dublin yesterday rather than stay in Brussels.
In a sign of the dire state of talks, the EU’s chief negotiator watched Ireland v France rather than remain on standby in the Belgian capital.
The Frenchman was spotted with Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar and foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney as they entered Dublin’s Aviva stadium.
Ireland went on to beat France 26-14 to keep their Six Nations hopes alive.
The impromptu trip could be seen as provocative given the impasse in talks is over the Irish border backstop, which Dublin has repeatedly dug its heels in over and rejected British demands for an end date or unilateral exit clause.
Before the weekend attorney-general Geoffrey Cox and Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay had been pencilled in for a trip to Brussels on Sunday to continue talks.
And yesterday an RAF jet was on standby to rush prime minister Theresa May to the Belgian capital in the event of a breakthrough – but she never went.
It came after relations sunk to a new low on Friday when eleventh-hour talks on British demands over the backstop issue descended into an ugly Twitter row.
It ended with Mr Barnier taking the unusual step of posting the EU’s latest backstop offer on Twitter in a bid to avoid being blamed for the breakdown in talks.
Moments later Mr Barclay hit back, saying the offer was simply a ‘rerun’ of old arguments.
It ended a tumultuous week in which Mr Cox’s demands earlier in the week were rejected following a bitter four-hour stand-off.