Tusk rebuffs May's attempt to get Brexit deal renegotiated

British PM Theresa May's attempt to force the EU to start re-negotiating Brexit deal hit a wall on Tuesday as Council President Donald Tusk explicitly stated that the EU will make no new offer, news wires reported. Rebuffing May's bid, Tusk said he wished the UK would reverse Brexit but that the bloc was preparing for a disorderly British exit as it would not gamble on peace in Ireland.

Council president pointed out that he no longer believed there was a way to stop Britain leaving due to the “pro-Brexit stance” of both the PM and the leader of the opposition. “I've been wondering what that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted Brexit, without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely,” Tusk said at a joint news conference with Irish PM Leo Varadkar.

The UK is on course to leave the EU on 29 March without a deal unless May succeeds to convince the EU to reopen the accord she agreed in November and then sell it to sceptical British lawmakers. As companies and governments across Europe step up preparations for a no-deal exit, diplomats and officials said the UK still faces three main options: a no-deal exit, a last-minute deal or a Brexit delay.

According to Varadkar, the Brexit deal, which was rejected by the UK parliament, was “the best possible”. He said Britain's political instability was another proof of why the backstop was needed. Meanwhile in Belfast, May tried to tackle the biggest obstacle to getting a deal ratified by the British parliament - an “insurance policy” for the border between EU-member Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland.

As a way to prevent a hard border, Brussels and London agreed a so-called backstop, basically a promise that unless the sides come up with a better idea then the UK would remain bound by EU market and customs rules so that goods would not have to be checked. But the Northern Irish party which props up May's government says it could endanger the province's place in the UK, while Brexit supporters in Conservative Party worry it would lock the country into EU rules for the long term.

On Wednesday May got unexpected support by a group of Conservative lawmakers from both wings of the party, as it became clear she would be given more time to negotiate Brexit with the EU if she succeeds in convincing Brussels to talk. Speaking to journalists, the lawmakers behind the plan said their proposal was being taken seriously, describing intensive talks with government to flesh it out as May prepares for meetings in Brussels on Thursday.

More on this subject: Brexit

Similar articles