Brexit snub: UK’s exit a mere footnote in Brussels summit – but warning to new PM on way

European Council chief Donald Tusk will be sent out to “reaffirm” the commitments made by the Prime Minister when she agreed to delay Britain’s EU exit until October 31. The bloc’s most senior official will repeat the outcome of April European Council summit when the Article 50 extension was agreed. The warning comes as the Tory leadership contest heats up amid promises to deliver drastic changes to Mrs May’s 585-page draft EU withdrawal deal, which she agreed with European counterparts last November.

One EU diplomat said: “Tusk cant do more than repeat the outcome of the last European council – not more, not less.”

A second said: “There is no negotiation or decision to be taken but an opportunity to reaffirm the position of the European Council.”

EU27 leaders will wait until the new prime minister is handed the keys to No.10 before making their first move.

The source added: “When the moment comes and a new prime minister arrives, it will be important for the 27 to reaffirm their position.”

EU27 leaders are expected to hold their most significant Brexit talks on Friday afternoon after Mrs May’s has left Brussels.

But a Eurozone discussion beforehand is likely to eat into the available time, leaving Britain’s EU divorce a mere footnote on their agenda.

In his invitation letter, Mr Tusk wrote: “The Commission President and myself will give a brief update on Brexit.

“We should conclude by lunchtime.”

Some in Brussels have conceded that Brexit could once again be delayed past October, unless the next prime minister is willing to deliver a no-deal divorce or wants more time to secure support for their predecessor’s deal.

But patience is running out, with some sources describing the situation as the “bandwidth not being there at the moment for talking about Brexit”.

In London, support for Tory leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson continues to grow.

Defeated candidate Dominic Raab has thrown his weight behind his fellow Brexiteer.

Mr Raab has urged Mr Johnson to commit to delivering Brexit by October 31 at the latest.

Mr Raab told the Evening Standard: “We must leave the EU on October 31. We’ve had enough delays and we need to get on with it so we can deliver on the task the British people gave us as politicians.

“The only candidate who will now do this is Boris Johnson and so I’ll be supporting him to become our next prime minister.

“Boris will make sure we leave the EU on time and move on to uniting the country behind a positive programme where everyone can benefit from the UK’s success.”

Mr Raab’s 30 backers are expected to join Mr Johnson’s ranks ahead of this evening’s ballot.

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