Donald Tusk, the President of the EU Council, has lashed out at the UK, saying he wonders what the “special place in hell” looks like for those who pushed for Brexit without coming up with a clear plan to deliver it.
Addressing reporters in Brussels, Tusk reiterated the EU’s position on the Withdrawal Agreement, stating that the Brexit deal agreed with Theresa May’s Tory government in November last year, was not open to renegotiation.
May arrives for talks with EU officials on Thursday in an attempt to formulate “alternative arrangements” on the contentious Irish backstop. Tusk declared that he hoped the UK PM would come to the negotiating table with some realistic suggestions on the backstop.
On the prospect of a ‘no-deal’ scenario, Tusk insisted that Brussels is preparing for such a “fiasco,” before delivering some harsh words for UK government officials.
“I have been wondering what the special place in hell looks like for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan to deliver it safely,” he said.
The EU Council president, flanked by Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar during his statement, claimed that people across Europe were hoping the UK would reverse its decision to leave the European Union.
He accepted that the prospect of the UK remaining in the EU was slim, given that both May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were “pro-Brexit.” He added: “Today, there is no political force, and no effective leadership, for remain.”
Tusk reaffirmed the bloc’s commitment to the Irish backstop, insisting that the EU “will not gamble with peace.”
A spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May has responded to Tusk’s comments, stating that it was a question for him as to “…whether he considers the use of that kind of language to be helpful.”
The Democratic Unionist Party’s Brexit spokesperson, Sammy Wilson MP, has unleashed a damning appraisal of Tusk following his Brussels statement, labeling him a “devilish, trident-wielding euro-maniac.”
May is today holding Brexit talks with the five main political parties at Stormont in Northern Ireland, in a bid to reassure them that she can secure a deal that avoids a hard border, before heading on to Brussels for crunch talks with the EU.