This morning EU Commission President Donald Tusk has set fire to Theresa May’s hopes of bringing the hard-Brexit Tory fringe with her on any vague ‘assurances’ she might hope to wring from the EU over the Irish ‘backstop’ in her dire withdrawal agreement.
Tusk said he and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar were preparing for a ‘fiasco’ from the UK government – and made an extraordinarily severe comment about the Tories who drove the Brexit issue in the run-up to the 2016 EU referendum:
Speaking of a UK ‘fiasco’, Tusk wondered about a ‘special place in hell’ for the Tory and UKIP Brexiteers who drove the Brexit issue in the build-up to the 2016 EU referendum.
Leo Varadkar, speaking next to Tusk immediately afterward, re-emphasised that the EU will not give a millimetre on the Irish backstop aspects of the withdrawal agreement.
This means that the additional, non-binding ‘assurances’ May might have been hoping for will meet with a frosty reception from ERG Group and other pro-Brexit Tories who will no doubt be offended and outraged by Tusk’s frank and public assessment.
Donald Tusk just threw Theresa May into a bear-pit – and the experienced politician will not have done so accidentally.
This was no ‘outburst’. It can only be viewed as a calculated manifestation of Tusk’s contempt and frustration, not only for the Brexiteers ‘without even a sketch of a plan’ – but also for May’s incompetent arrogance throughout what has passed for ‘negotiations’.
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