Donald tusk

Donald Tusk is playing a dangerous game in dismissing Polexit

‘The British showed that the dictatorship of the Brussels bureaucracy did not suit them and turned around and left.’ That’s the verdict of the parliamentary head of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, Ryszard Terlecki, who has once again brought discussions of ‘Polexit’ to the foreground of Polish politics. Donald Tusk, Poland’s new leader of the opposition, has responded by suggesting this is party politics at work. But he is making a dangerous mistake to dismiss the prospect of a Polish exit from the EU. ‘If things go the way they are likely to go, we will have to search for drastic solutions,’ said Terlecki on Friday, citing Brexit as an example of

No. 10 hits back in the backstop blame game

The stand-off between Downing Street and the European Union over Boris Johnson’s latest proposal for the backstop boils down to a disagreement over whether the British government really cares about getting a Brexit deal at all. When Donald Tusk rejected Johnson’s plan today, he all but accused him of being set on a no-deal exit, saying: ‘The backstop is an insurance to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland unless and until an alternative is found. Those against the backstop and not proposing realistic alternatives in fact support re-establishing a border. Even if they do not admit it.’ A Downing Street spokesperson hit back at this, insisting that

The Brexit headache is just beginning

Pretty much everyone I meet says they want all the Brexit uncertainty to end, one way or another. But that is now impossible: even agreement – which seems remote – on some version of the PM’s deal to take us out of the EU would only be a beginning of a sort, not an end, with so much left to decide on what kind of future relationship we need and deserve with the EU. And if there is no backing from MPs for the Withdrawal Agreement that is the divorce from the EU, then we are into a series of choices whose consequences would be to lead to various forms

Full text: May’s letter to Donald Tusk requesting a Brexit extension

Dear Donald, The UK Government’s policy remains to leave the European Union in an orderly manner on the basis of the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration agreed in November, complemented by the Joint Instrument and supplement to the Political Declaration President Juncker and I agreed on 11 March. You will be aware that before the House of Commons rejected the deal for a second time on 12 March, I warned in a speech in Grimsby that the consequences of failing to endorse the deal were unpredictable and potentially deeply unpalatable. The House of Commons did not vote in favour of the deal. The following day it voted against leaving the

Barometer | 14 February 2019

Places in Hell President Donald Tusk said there must be a ‘special place in Hell reserved for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan of how to carry it out safely’. Yet there are a number of places, as defined by Dante, where many on either side of the Brexit debate could be accommodated. Some groups who have space reserved in the Inferno, in descending order: Opportunists; Hoarders and wasters; Wrathful and sullen; Fortune Tellers; Hypocrites; Evil Counsellors; Sowers of Discord; Falsifiers. Lost planes The wreckage of a plane was discovered off the Channel Islands and the body of the footballer Emiliano Sala recovered. How many

The most revealing part of Tusk’s press conference wasn’t about Brexiteers going to hell

Westminster is in a flurry this afternoon over Donald Tusk’s comments at a press conference this morning with Leo Varadkar. The European Council president used the platform to declare that he had been pondering of late what that ‘special place in hell’ for ‘those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan of how to carry it safely’ looked like. Tusk even went on to tweet out his comments – just in case anyone had missed the moment in the conference. Adding insult to injury the EU Council president has also been caught on mic laughing about the likely angry response from the British. Tusk is at least

Donald Tusk rains on Theresa May’s post-conference parade

After a better-than-expected conference speech, Theresa May has given her premiership a much needed boost. Only it seems not everyone wants her turn in fortune to continue. This afternoon, Donald Tusk took to social media, following a press conference with the Taoiseach, to bring the Prime Minister back down to earth with a an unhelpful tweet about the Brexit negotiations. Adopting the words of Brexiteers including David Davis, the EU council leader said Brussels has always been happy to offer a ‘Canada+++ deal’ and that this offer was ‘a true measure of respect’: From the very beginning, the EU offer has been a Canada+++ deal. Much further-reaching on trade, internal security

Theresa May’s weakness proves costly in the Brexit negotiations

So much for that Friday feeling – Theresa May’s day out at the European social summit has proved a slog. First, an increasingly angry Irish Taoiseach threatened to block the progress of Brexit talks over the Irish border – telling hacks that he couldn’t ‘in any honesty’ say that an agreement is close. Then, Donald Tusk issued a stern warning that ‘much more progress’ will have to be made in order for him to even consider letting the talks progress to trade in December. The European Council president said that while ‘good progress’ on citizens’ rights is being made, he needs to see ‘much more progress’ on Ireland and on the financial settlement.

Donald Tusk’s Brexit warning shows the EU is confident it has the upper hand

Only last month, the Government was still keeping up the pretence of being optimistic that Brexit trade talks with the EU could start by October. Now the hope of doing so is fading fast. The European Council president Donald Tusk used a trip to Downing Street today to deliver a stark message: ‘there is not sufficient progress yet’. “No sufficient progress yet but we’ll work on it” – @eucopresident Donald Tusk on #Brexit talks with PM @theresa_may — BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) September 26, 2017 This is a blow to the Government, with ministers now resigning themselves for the next phase of trade talks being pushed back, possibly until Christmas

Donald Tusk steps in to relieve Brexit tensions

After the Brexit rows of the last few days, Donald Tusk—the President of the European Council—has intervened and urged everyone to calm down. ‘These negotiations are difficult enough as they are. If we start arguing before they even begin, they will become impossible. The stakes are too high to let our emotions get out of hand. Because at stake are the daily lives and interests of millions of people on both sides of the Channel. We must keep in mind that in order to succeed, today we need discretion, moderation, mutual respect and a maximum of good will.’  Diplomatically, Tusk has chastised both sides of this dispute. He has called for

The real significance of Theresa May’s meeting with Donald Tusk

Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, has been in Downing Street this afternoon meeting with Theresa May. The official readout of their talk is much as you would expect. Warm words about the hopes for a ‘deep and special partnership’, an attempt to calm things down over Gibraltar but nothing major as the EU 27 have yet to agree their negotiating position. But the real significance of this meeting is that it is meant to be one of a series between May and Tusk as the negotiations continue. This shows that the European Council—which represents the member states—wants to keep the Commission on a close rein during these

The European Council pulls its punches in its draft Brexit plan

So we have the first sight of the European Council’s draft negotiating guidelines. They’re much more constructive that we would have been lead to believe. And there are no big surprises. The first headline point is that there is no mention of the €60 billion figure which Jean-Claude Juncker and the European Commission have loved to go on about. In fact no figure is mentioned at all. The section on money is restricted to saying that debts will need to be settled – something Theresa May has already acknowledged. It does not say when the cheque needs to be signed: A single financial settlement should ensure that the Union and the

The EU’s Brexit strategy, full text

On 29 March 2017, the European Council has received the notification by the United Kingdom of its intention to withdraw from the European Union and Euratom. This allows for the opening of negotiations as foreseen by the Treaty. European integration has brought peace and prosperity to Europe and allowed for an unprecedented level and scope of cooperation on matters of common interest in a rapidly changing world. Therefore, the Union’s overall objective in these negotiations will be to preserve its interests, those of its Member States, its citizens and its businesses. The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the Union creates significant uncertainties that have the potential to cause disruption, in

How to write the perfect break-up letter

Yesterday, Sir Tim Barrow placed into Donald Tusk’s hands the letter giving notice the UK will begin divorce proceedings with the EU. This missive now takes its place among the great relationship-ending letters of history. Today, Downing Street has said that European leaders appreciated the ‘warm, constructive’ tone of the Article 50 letter. But what makes for a good break-up letter?  And when you look at the most memorable break-up letters of history, what do they have in common? Lucy Hume from Debrett’s says a relationship-ender should first of all reflect the relationship. ‘The letter need not be very long but should be handwritten on writing paper, well-thought-out and appropriate to the relationship,’

Theresa May’s Article 50 letter strikes the right tone

Theresa May is trying to play the role of the great conciliator today. She has avoided any hint of triumphalism or saying anything that the European Union would instantly reject. Instead, she has emphasised her desire for a ‘deep and special partnership’ with the European Union and that the UK wants to be the ‘best friend and neighbour’ to the EU. She has not repeated her Lancaster House message that she thinks ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ or threatened to change the UK economic model if no free trade agreement with the EU can be struck. The Article 50 letter that May has sent to Tusk also strikes

Theresa May’s full Article 50 speech: ‘A day of celebration for some and disappointment for others’

Mr Speaker, Today the Government acts on the democratic will of the British People. And it acts, too, on the clear and convincing position of this House. A few minutes ago in Brussels, the United Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the EU handed a letter to the President of the European Council on my behalf, confirming the Government’s decision to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.   The Article 50 process is now underway. And in accordance with the wishes of the British People, the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. This is an historic moment from which there can be no turning back. Britain is leaving the European

Tom Goodenough

What the papers say: Theresa May pulls the Article 50 trigger

Theresa May has put pen to paper on the Article 50 letter that will kick-start the process of Brexit. March 29th, 2017, will join June 23rd, 2016, as a key date in Britain’s modern history. The papers are unanimous in seeing today as a momentous moment. But they are also clear in their view that the challenges ahead will be big. On the day Theresa May formally pulls the Brexit trigger, here’s what the newspaper editorials have to say: ‘It’s finally here,’ says the Sun. The paper hails today as ‘the most momentous day in Britain’s modern history’ – and marks the occasion by beaming the words ‘Dover and Out’ on

What does President Trump do to Brexit?

With Theresa May expected to head to Washington next week to see President Trump, I have a look at what the Trump presidency might mean for Brexit in my Sun column this morning. Despite his protectionist rhetoric, on full show again yesterday, Donald Trump is keen on a US / UK trade agreement. He has told people that he would like to get personally involved in negotiating the deal. I understand that his transition team has done more work on it than they have for any other agreement. Squaring the circle between Trump’s protectionist rhetoric and his enthusiasm for a US / UK deal isn’t as hard as it first looks.

Will Brexit butcher the banks? | 16 October 2016

The financial crisis defines our age. It helps explain everything from the presidential nomination of Donald Trump to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour party after 30 years on the political fringe. Certainly, the Brexit vote wouldn’t have happened without it. The crash of 2008 created a sense of unfairness that is still roiling our politics, as well as calling into question the competence of the West’s ruling class. The soi disant ‘experts’ were easily dismissed during the EU referendum campaign because nearly all of them had got the economic crisis so wrong. The Brexiteers asked: why should the public listen to the arguments of organisations and businesses that had

That Cameron is out while Juncker has stayed shows us just what’s wrong with the EU

According to Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, the Brexit vote was David Cameron’s fault: ‘If someone complains about Europe from Monday to Saturday then nobody is going to believe him on Sunday when he says he is a convinced European’, Juncker told the German newspaper Bild. Thursday’s vote brought with it the inevitable pressure on the leaders of the campaign for Britain to remain in the EU to resign: Cameron will be gone by October, as might Corbyn if the no confidence motion brought by two of his MPs succeeds. But there was also a sense of inevitability about three notable non-resignations: Juncker is remaining firmly in