Angela Merkel would usually wait on the red carpet to greet Mrs May after she gets out of her car – but today the Tory leader cut a rather lonely figure when she was forced to walk towards to the German Chancellor alone. On their meeting, the two leaders shook hands and posed for the cameras before making their way inside for talks as the Prime Minister desperately battles to save her Brexit deal.
BBC Berlin correspondent Jenny Hill tweeted: “Slightly awkward start to what the German press call Theresa May’s ‘begging tour’ Angela Merkel normally waits on red carpet to greet guests on arrival ….not today…
“I think Angela Merkel felt bad. She’s just emerged with Theresa May and waved her off ( terrible picture but I promise she smiled and waved ! )”
The Prime Minister has embarked on a diplomatic flurry to plead for an extension, with Mrs Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, ahead of a crunch EU summit on Wednesday.
Mrs May’s spokesman said: “She set out in the letter to the EU the fact that she is holding cross-party discussions with the leader of the opposition to try to seek a way forward which can carry a stable majority in parliament.
“Those negotiations are ongoing. There are further talks today.
“The prime minister will be able to point to those talks, she will also be able to talk to the fact that she remains certain that there is a majority in parliament for the UK leaving the European Union with a deal.”
Mrs May has asked for a new delay until June 30 but, according to reports, Brexit could be delayed by nearly a year under plans being considered by EU officials
Such an extension would mean the UK having to take part in European parliamentary elections, which would be anathema to hardline Brexiteer Tories, and the country could be sidelined from budget decisions in Brussels.
All 27 remaining EU heads of government must agree to an extension if the UK is to avoid the default position of a no-deal Brexit on Friday night.
The Tory leader was meant to spend Tuesday morning negotiating Brexit with her own Cabinet before debating the extension in the Commons.
But instead, Mrs May has left the UK to travel to European destination for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron.
The change of plans came following phone calls last night, where the Prime Minister spoke to senior figures of the EU.
Mrs May is now looking for support for her request for a June 30 Brexit extension in Berlin before she heads Paris.
In France, Mrs May will make a personal plea to Emmanuel Macron not to veto her request for a further delay to Britain’s exit from the bloc.
Mr Macron could demand there be no extension of the Article 50 process unless the Prime Minister signs up to binding commitments to stand aside from the EU decision-making process.