An awkward video of Theresa May standing alone at the EU summit sums up Brexit in 10 seconds

Britain walks alone.
Britain walks alone.
Image: Reuters/Eric Vidal
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Brexit, Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), has clearly sparked a diplomatic rift.

The awkwardness of Britain’s divorce from the EU was vividly highlighted at the EU leaders summit in Brussels, in a video clip that’s been described as “Brexit in a single shot.” British prime minister Theresa May stands awkwardly while EU leaders talk and warmly embrace.

May was not ignored for the entire summit—other clips have shown her smiling and talking with other delegates—but the clip encapsulates what the remaining 27 EU-members have said since the June Brexit vote: The EU will remain strong and united without Britain.

The EU has remained resolute over a number of Brexit issues. EU leaders have refused to begin negotiations or discussions until Britain triggers Article 50, the unrevokeable move that starts the process of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. May has promised to do so no later than March 2017.

At the European Council meeting in October, Brexit was scheduled as “any other business.” May was permitted to give a “short update on Brexit” during coffee after a working dinner, but other European leaders weren’t allowed to respond to her remarks.

May had at the time asked EU leaders to not hold summits without Britain, but her calls fell on deaf ears. EU leaders have continued to meet informally without Britain to discuss Brexit.