(AFP) – British Prime Minister Theresa May has chosen to spend her summer holidays in Switzerland — a country held up by some Brexit advocates as a model for Britain’s future relationship with the European Union.
“The prime minister will be taking a holiday in Switzerland and will be returning to the UK on August 24,” her office said in a statement on Thursday.
May has a busy calendar when she gets back with the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China on September 4-5 where she is set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.
There she is also expected to discuss the future of the Hinkley Point nuclear power station project, which is led by French energy giant EDF but includes a third participation by Chinese business CGN.
Britain’s parliament also resumes on September 5 with a debate on an online petition calling for a second referendum.
But before tackling the tough autumn agenda, May will escape to a country that she previously praised as a place where one could get some peace and quiet.
The prime minister’s chosen destination — a non-EU country in the geographical heart of Europe — has not been lost on British media.
The Guardian said she would be flying to “neutral ground”.
“The neutral symbolism may appeal to May for her first summer break since the EU referendum, though the strenuous walks and Alpine scenery are likely to be the main pull for the prime minister, a keen hiker,” the newspaper wrote.
May in 2007 told The Telegraph she first visited Switzerland 25 years earlier and found it “a wonderful summer destination” for walking.
The newspaper on Thursday noted May would be the first British prime minister to holiday in Switzerland since Margaret Thatcher.
“Mrs May and the late Baroness Thatcher’s choice of holiday destination is in stark contrast to that of former Prime Ministers David Cameron and Tony Blair, who preferred warmer climates,” the newspaper wrote.
Cameron was photographed last week holidaying in Corsica, after resigning in June following the EU referendum.