EUROPEAN Council President Donald Tusk dropped his mask of reasonableness yesterday in Brussels when he declared that there is a ‘special place in hell’ for those who campaigned for Brexit to leave the EU.
Tusk also hit out at those who failed to persuade the British people to stay in the UK, saying there is ‘no effective leadership for Remain’. He continued: ‘I’ve been wondering what that special place in hell looks like for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely.’
President Tusk also ruled out renegotiating May’s Brexit deal ahead of her arrival in Brussels. The Tusk mask dropped at a joint press conference in Brussels with the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, in which he also lashed out at those who had failed to persuade the British people to remain in the EU.
He lamented that, ‘At the moment, the pro-Brexit stance of the UK prime minister and the leader of the opposition rules out this question of remaining. ‘Today there is no political force and no effective leadership for Remain.’
May arrived in Brussels for talks with senior EU leaders on Thursday late afternoon.
Before she arrived, Tusk had ruled out any prospect of renegotiating the Brexit deal, saying it was ‘not open for renegotiation’. He continued that he hoped May would arrive for talks with a ‘sensible’ suggestion to ‘break the impasse’.
Tusk said the Prime Minister had to offer a guarantee of peace in Northern Ireland.
He said the Irish border was their ‘top priority’, adding the EU27 had decided in December that the Withdrawal Agreement was ‘not open for renegotiation’.
‘I hope that tomorrow we will hear from Prime Minister May a realistic suggestion on how to end the impasse in which the process of the orderly withdrawal of the UK from the EU has found itself following the latest votes in the House of Commons.’
He continued to reason that, ‘The EU is first and foremost a peace project. We will not gamble with peace or put a sell-by date on reconciliation. This is why we insist on the backstop.’
Irish leader Leo Varadkar also spoke about the EU being a force for peace saying that the solidarity shown by the EU for a small country ‘resonated not just in Ireland but in other small countries’.
He added: ‘While we expect that the backstop will never be used, we agreed again today that it is needed as a legal guarantee to ensure that there is no return to a hard border on the island of Ireland while protecting the integrity of our European single market and customs union. ‘I think the events in London and the instability in British politics in recent weeks demonstrate exactly why we need a legal guarantee and a solution that is operable, that we know will work and will last.’
Dave Wiltshire, secretary of the All Trade Unions Alliance, commented: ‘Tusk has blurted out the real position of the EU, that there should be a “special hell for Brexiteers”. ‘It is in this spirit that he has been conducting the negotiations.
‘UK workers must now demand an immediate break with the EU, that we hang onto our £39bn, and issue a guarantee to the Irish workers that there will never be a hard border between North and South.’