EU Council President Donald Tusk gives a statement after a meeting at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 6, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Britain’s Brexiteers with no plan of how to deliver deserve a “special place in hell”, the EU’s Donald Tusk said, adding he no longer believed there was a way to stop Britain leaving due to the “pro-Brexit stance” of both the prime minister and the leader of the opposition.
In particularly outspoken remarks after a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Wednesday, the European Council president and former Polish premier said: “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.”
While many people in Britain and across Europe hoped that Britain might stay – something Tusk has repeatedly said was possible – he said he had concluded that there was now “no political force and no effective leadership” for those wanting to remain in the European Union.
He told reporters that both Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn had a “pro-Brexit stance”.
As a result, with just 50 days to go until Britain is due to leave, the priority was to try to salvage a deal with May to ensure an orderly withdrawal and to avoid disrupting the peace in Northern Ireland – while also stepping up preparations for Britain crashing out into limbo.
Following the rejection of a deal by the British parliament last month, Tusk said he hoped May would tell him at a meeting in Brussels on Thursday of a way to end the “impasse”.
Reporting by Alastair Macdonald @macdonaldrtr, Editing by Gabriela Baczynska