Skip to navigationSkip to content

The dire shape of Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations, in one photo

By Johnny Simon
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

European Union leaders, exiting a negotiation summit in Salzburg, Austria with British prime minister Theresa May, sounded dour on her Brexit demands.

EU president Donald Tusk said they simply “will not work.”

Germany chancellor Angela Merkel said that there is “still have a lot of work to do.”

French president Emmanuel Macron was quoted saying “we all agreed on this today, the proposals in their current state are not acceptable.” He also alluded to the UK backers of Brexit, calling them “liars.. [who] left the next day, so they didn’t have to manage it.”

It’s frighteningly late in these stages of negotiation for the UK to be approaching the March 2019 deadline to ratify a deal with the EU parliament, without much of deal agreed on. The threat of the UK leaving the EU without any sort of deal in place seems ever more likely.

A Reuters photo from today (Sept. 20) paints the situation all too clearly.

Reuters/Lisi Niesner
Theresa May arrives for a family photo during the informal EU summit in Salzburg, Austria.

May, in bright red, is on the outside looking in as a group of leaders walk toward her in a tight formation.

There are many images before and after showing everyone exchanging pleasantries and interacting as a group. Still, the timing of this image reinforces the tone of the reporting coming out of Austria—and a possible view of things to come.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.