European Council President Donald Tusk: there's a 'special place in hell' for Brexiters who pushed ahead without a plan

ReutersBrexit continues to be a divisive issue in the UK.

The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, has blasted politicians who pushed for Brexit 'without even a sketch of a plan', saying there was a 'special place in hell' for them. 

Prime Minister Theresa May is due to meet Tusk on Thursday as she returns to Brussels in an attempt to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement. 

Tusk, however, has made clear that there are no more consessions to be made to the treaty, including the Irish backstop. 

He reiterated his desire to see the UK change its mind but admitted this was unlikely as the Remain camp lacked 'effective leadership'. 

'I have always been with you with all my heart, but the facts are unmistakable. At the moment the pro-Brexit stance of the UK prime minister and the leader of the opposition rules out this question. Today there is no political force and no effective leadership for remain,' he said

He continued: 'There is no room for speculation here. The EU is first and foremost a peace project. We will not gamble with peace or put a sell-by date on reconciliation," he said, rejecting British demands for a time limit on the Irish backstop.

'I've been wondering what that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan [for] how to carry it out safely.' 

This week, the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Rev Nick Baines issued a scathing critique of the current state of Brexit, saying it had shown the nation to be 'a people who are limited in our insight, still maintain dreams of empire, cannot face reality, like to hear what we want to hear (regardless of facts), and cannot be trusted to be competence [SIC]'.

In a stinging rebuke to the 'rich and powerful people leading the charge', he said they were guilty of 'making promises to which they will not be held, and knowing that they will not suffer at all if it all goes wrong for the UK'. 

'Poor people in challenging communities will pay the price – as they have been doing during the so-called 'austerity years' – and the powerful will exercise their power by maximising and protecting their own benefits ... all while blaming everyone else for the ills that follow. We can't all take our businesses to Singapore or Ireland,' he said.

'Brexit will bring disillusionment – probably on all sides. Brexit won't lead to economic or social nirvana for Leavers, and Remainers will continue to resist its consequences.

'Just as Faragistes never accepted the decision to join (what became) the EU, so many will immediately start the campaign to rejoin the EU one day. Brexit has not, could not and will not resolve the issue on these islands.

'But, it has exposed our deeper divisions (many of which have nothing whatsoever to do with Brexit or the EU), the poverty of our political culture (how can Labour still be six points behind the Tories in today's polling?), the weakness of our national character, and our willingness to tell, hear and believe lies.'

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