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Europe

EU President Donald Tusk lashes out at negligent Brexiters

media 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

Brexiters who did not plan ahead were singled-out by the European Council President on Wednesday, as he wondered if a “special place in hell” might be reserved for those who pushed for Brexit without thinking through the country’s exit from the European bloc.

Britain is due to leave the European Union in 50 days, but there remains unresolved issues, namely the so-called ‘backstop’, referring to the open border between Northern Ireland and EU member state Ireland.

In a meeting on Wednesday morning with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, Tusk told reporters afterwards “I have been wondering what a special place in hell looks like for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of [a] plan [of] how to carry it out safely.”

Britain’s departure from the EU, set for March 29th, is the first time a country has ever left the bloc.

Theresa May heads to Brussels

British Prime Minister Theresa May is due in Brussels on Thursday with what she has been referring to as a parliamentary mandate to re-open the draft agreement that had already been sealed after 18 months of intense and technical discussions.

However, Tusk stressed that the EU will not be making any new offer in reference to reopening the agreement. He added that the legally binding agreement cannot be renegotiated.

He cautioned that a “sense of responsibility also tells us to prepare for a possible fiasco” as the divorce date looms ahead.

Speaking earlier this week on Tuesday in Belfast, Northern Ireland, May reiterated her “unshakeable” commitment to avoiding a hard border between the two countries, though parliament continues to insist that changes should be made to the backstop.

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