Speaking after meeting with the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, Donald Tusk said that there is a “special place in hell” for “those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan of how to carry it out safely”.
The remark is being met with contempt across the UK, as leading Brexiteers, Remainers and journalists have condemned the comments as far too strong and not in keeping with the spirit of compromise President Tusk had been calling for just moments before.
In an interview the Leader of the House of Commons and leading Brexiteer, Andrea Leadsom said that President Tusk’s vengeful comments were “extremely regrettable” and “not at all helpful”.
“The man has no manners, I think it’s extremely regrettable, not at all helpful”@AndreaLeadsom on @eucopresident Donald Tusk’s “special place in hell #Brexit comment#PoliticsLive https://t.co/wHqpeLbwkc pic.twitter.com/2xWvJn3dPw
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) February 6, 2019
Yet the most accurate reflection has come from remainer and moderate British MP, Stephen Crabb, who labelled the intervention as “extraordinary, especially given how smug some EU officials have been about how good they are at the diplomacy thing.”
Where moments before Tusk has been saying that the EU and the UK must working together to find a “common solution” because “the EU itself is first and foremost a peace project”, it seems that express purpose seems to have been to stir discontent within the country he is trying to negotiate with.
This from a former remainer and fully paid up member of Tory moderate brigade https://t.co/m7HcZz7U3w
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) February 6, 2019
It forces one to believe that finding a “common solution” is the last thing on the EU’s mind. They have had one objective throughout the Brexit negotiations, and that has been to punish the UK for daring to ask its own people what they think of their country’s relationship with the EU.
Tusk has taken a number of public swipes at the UK over Brexit. This has included both Instagram stories and posts where he has ridiculed the British approach to the negotiations and recently, in a BBC documentary called Inside Europe, he was quoted to say the 2016 Referendum was “stupid.”
— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) September 20, 2018
Yes, the decision made by 17.4 million Britons was “stupid” according to the President of the EU Council. How dare you, you stupid voter, vote against him and his institution! Don’t you understand how lucky you are? It is certainly not Brussels fault that we have left you feeling completely disengaged from the political class.
Now facing a revolution against himself and the EU, Tusk clearly has nothing to offer but un-diplomatic jibes and insults.
Perhaps it is lucky that the UK is escaping such a distant and obstinate institution.