Donald Tusk just couldn’t resist. It was September 2018, and an informal European Council summit was taking place in Salzburg. As the leaders relaxed after lunch, someone snapped a photo of Tusk offering a tray of small cakes to the then British prime minister, Theresa May. Tusk posted the picture to his Instagram with the caption: ‘A piece of cake, perhaps? Sorry, no cherries.’
The joke/dig (depending on your point of view) worked because everyone knew what was being referred to. Ever since Article 50 had been triggered in March 2017, the British side had been attempting to ‘cherry pick’ – to try and gain the advantages of EU membership (in particular frictionless access to the single market) without the obligations or constraints of membership.