Donald Tusk: Special place in hell for clueless Brexit campaigners

Leo Varadkar and Donald Tusk in Brussels

In the months following the Brexit vote, the European Commission chief, Jean-Claude Juncker, blamed Brexit on "40 years of lies" by British politicians.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson has criticised Donald Tusk after the European Council president said there will be "a special place in hell" for those who promoted Brexit without any plan for how to deliver it safely.

Although it is the outcome that all parties involved in the negotiations say they wish to most avoid, the intransigence of the European negotiating team has the inevitable impact of pushing the United Kingdom closer to a so called no-deal Brexit - a full and clean break from the European Union.

Tusk originally made the remarks during a joint press conference with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Brussels on Wednesday morning, and has since doubled down on the claim by tweeting it.

'Today there is no political force and no effective leadership for Remain. The first and foremost a peace project. Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UKIP party, in respond to Mr Tusk's statement, said in his Twitter: "After Brexit, we will be free of unelected, arrogant bullies like you and run our own country".

The UK has also maintained that avoiding a hard border in Ireland is a major priority, lending popularity to the now-ubiquitous term "backstop", to describe a measure put in place to protect the status quo in Ireland even if no deal is reached between British parliament and the EU. "I say this without satisfaction, but you can't argue with the facts".

Labour Party foreign policy spokeswoman Emily Thornberry said such a postponement would allow "time to see whether the negotiations succeed or, if they do not, to pursue a different plan".

Neither will the deal's "backstop" that ensures an open Irish border, he said, denouncing the British eurosceptics now pushing for an abrupt "no deal" departure.

In search of elusive unity, May met Wednesday with the DUP, which insists the backstop must be scrapped, and with other Northern Ireland parties who insist it must stay.

No matter, Tusk and Varadkar both laughed.

Brexiteers deserve a special place in hell for campaigning for Britain's withdrawal from the European Union with no plan on how to achieve it, one of Brussels' most senior figures has said.

Critics of the backstop argue its lack of any agreed time-limit is unacceptable as it could see the United Kingdom locked into a customs union deal with the EU indefinitely and Northern Ireland kept under EU single market rules.

"I think the events in London and the instability in British politics in recent weeks demonstrates exactly why we need a legal guarantee and a solution that is operable, that we know will work and will last".

May is now looking into changes to satisfy her MPs, who fear the backstop would keep Britain indefinitely tied to European Union rules with even closer alignment for Northern Ireland.



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