EU leaders have met for the first time without the UK in 43 years, to address what Angela Merkel has described as ‘a critical situation’. If last month’s meeting in Ventotene was a moment of defiance, the mood in Bratislava was one of concern. Britain, of course, remains a member of the EU, and as yet has done nothing to formalise its intent to leave. Therefore, our exclusion from this conference can only be justified in that the meeting was described as ‘informal’. With the UK out of the picture, there are some that believe decisions will now be made more quickly. However, it is becoming clear that for the EU there is no shaking off the issues that the Brexit vote has highlighted, albeit of which Brexit was not the root cause.