Another fine mess: Tusk’s doubt over deal

PUBLISHED: 16:50 16 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:50 16 October 2018

Donald Tusk has outlined his pessimism over a Brexit deal being reached
Photo: PA / Niall Carson

Donald Tusk has outlined his pessimism over a Brexit deal being reached Photo: PA / Niall Carson

PA Archive/PA Images

Donald Tusk has warned that no Brexit deal is imminent on the eve of a crunch summit.

The president of the European Council said the only “source of hope” was goodwill during a gloomy Brussels press conference.

He added: “Unfortunately the report on the state of the negotiations that I got from Michel Barnier today, as well as yesterday’s debate in the House of Commons, gives me no grounds for optimism before tomorrow’s European Council on Brexit.

READ: ‘Take responsibility’ – Germany gets tough with May

“As I see it, the only source of hope for a deal for now is the goodwill and determination on both sides.

“However, for a breakthrough to take place, besides goodwill we need new facts.

“Tomorrow I am going to ask prime minister May whether she has concrete proposals on how to break the impasse. Only such proposals can determine if a breakthrough is possible.

“While working on a Brexit deal, we also need to make sure that we are prepared in case an agreement is not possible or in case it is rejected. Therefore tomorrow the leaders will discuss how to step up our preparations for a no-deal scenario.

“But, as I have already stressed, the fact that we are preparing for a no-deal scenario must not under any circumstances lead us away from making every effort to reach the best agreement possible for all sides.”

Meanwhile in London Theresa May desperately tried to keep her minister’s in line during a cabinet meeting amid claims some were willing to quit.

The mammoth three-hour meeting came a day after eight Brexit-supporting ministers took the unusual step of meeting over pizzas in the office of Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom to discuss their concerns about the PM’s stance.

But despite intense speculation over a possible walkout, no minister at cabinet indicated they might consider resigning from the Government over Brexit.

MMay issued a plea for unity as she said she remained determined to secure a Brexit that would respect the result of the 2016 referendum, protect jobs and security and preserve the Union.

“I’m convinced that if we as a government stand together and stand firm, we can achieve this,” she said.

The PM said the sticking points were:

• That it would not be possible for her or any other UK prime minister to sign up to an agreement which created a customs border down the Irish Sea.

• That any agreement must ensure that the UK is not kept indefinitely in a backstop arrangement against its will.

MORE: ‘No-deal would be a disaster,’ says Ford boss

MORE: ‘What is the solution?’ Anna Soubry has the perfect response to Piers Morgan

MORE: Boris Johnson blamed for rise in hate crime

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Support The New European's vital role as a voice for the 48%

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

  • Become a friend of The New European for a contribution of £48. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish)
  • Become a partner of The New European for a contribution of £240. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook
  • Become a patron of The New European for a contribution of £480. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook and an A3 print of The New European front cover of your choice, signed by Editor Matt Kelly

By proceeding, you agree to the New Europeans supporters club Terms & Conditions which can be found here.



Supporter Options

Mention Me in The New European



If Yes, Name to appear in The New European



Latest Articles

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Grassroots anti-Brexit campaigners are increasing the pressure on politicians ahead of a series of important votes this year. Here is a list of the events organised across Britain in the coming weeks and months.

Trending

Newsletter Sign Up

The New European weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy