The German chancellor humiliated Theresa May when she cancelled a planned sitdown meeting at the EU summit in Malta.
British officials were left red-faced when news of the schedule change came through.
May had to settle for a brief walk and talk with Angela Merkel in the capital, Valetta.
Following the chat the prime minister flew home after lunch whilst EU leaders continued discussions on the impact of Brexit.
The short meeting saw the chancellor criticise May for wooing firms with low taxes, adding there was no need for ‘a race for the lowest corporation taxes’.
Hopes that Britain could bridge communications between the US and EU, following May’s meetings with president Trump, were put under pressure by Francois Hollande.
The meeting between May and the chancellor was meant to the highlight of the day of talks.
Officially the day’s talks between the EU leaders was on the refugee crisis but there was focus on Trump’s presidency and Brexit.