Donald Tusk says Brexit supporters deserve 'special place in hell'

Xinhua News Agency  PA Images

Xinhua News Agency PA Images

Meanwhile, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar will meet European Council President Donald Tusk and the head of the bloc's executive, Jean-Claude Juncker, in Brussels today to discuss the latest Brexit developments.

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.

As the news conference in Brussels was winding down, Varadkar was picked up by a hot mic telling Tusk: "They'll give you bad trouble, the British, for this".

In a pointed aside during a press conference with Irish premier Leo Varadkar in Brussels today, Mr Tusk attacked the "pro-Brexit" stance taken by Mr Corbyn for undermining efforts to keep the United Kingdom in the bloc.

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".

"Clearly the pressure is beginning to mount in Brussels, we've seen that today from some of the response particularly from the President Donald Tusk", she said.

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The remark by Tusk, who chairs summits of the EU's national leaders, angered Brexit supporters in Britain.

The EU has consistently demanded the backstop as a legally-binding insurance policy to ensure the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic remains regardless of future UK/EU relations.

Tusk launched the savage attack on pro-Brexit Tory MPs and campaigners as Prime Minister Theresa May scrambles to secure a withdrawal deal with the EU.

Tusk said the Irish border issue and the need to preserve the peace process remained the EU's "top priority".

May is signaling she will seek changes to the deal rather than the outright removal of the controversial Irish border provision, which has so alarmed many Brexiters in the U.K. Parliament.

"We will find a way to deliver Brexit that honours our commitments to Northern Ireland", Mrs May said on Tuesday.

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"If the backstop is dealt with in the withdrawal agreement then, despite the fact we may have misgivings around other parts of the withdrawal agreement, we will support the prime minister because we do want Brexit to happen in an orderly and sustained fashion", she said.

Mr Tusk could be heard replying: "Yes, I know", before the Irish PM responded: "But I know you're right".

"The EU is first and foremost a peace project", he told a Brussels press conference.

The Irish prime minister again insisted that there were no "alternative arrangements" to the already agreed Northern Ireland backstop.

He said that in light of ongoing uncertainty in the UK, EU leaders have agreed that no-deal preparation must continue and intensify.

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