Donald Tusk says UK cannot ignore six million that signed Article 50 petition

PUBLISHED: 11:28 27 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:45 27 March 2019

European Council President Donald Tusk waves at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

European Council President Donald Tusk waves at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)


Donald Tusk has told the European Parliament that politicians must not betray the six million people that have signed a petition to revoke Article 50 or the million people that marched in London.

Tusk criticised MEPs who told him that possible UK participation in forthcoming elections to the European Parliament if Britain sought a longer extension to Article 50 would be “harmful or inconvenient”.

The European Council president told the European Parliament: “Let me be clear, such thinking is unacceptable.

“You cannot betray the six million people who signed the petition to revoke Article 50, the one million people who marched for a people’s vote, or the increasing majority of people who want to remain in the European Union.

“They may feel that they are not sufficiently represented by their UK parliament, but they must feel that they are represented by you in this chamber because they are Europeans.”

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He added: “As I said after the European Council the 12 April is a key date in terms of the UK deciding to hold European Parliament elections. 12 April is a new cliff edge date: before that date the UK still has a clear choice between a deal, no-deal, long extension, and revoking Article 50.”

Manfred Weber, the leader of the largest group in the European Parliament, said: “Those who are fighting for a second referendum, for staying inside the European Union – we are on their side, we want to have their success, but for the moment we have a situation where Great Britain wants to leave the European Union.

“Having this in mind I think it’s also important to explain to our citizens why a country that is leaving the European Union should have a major say in the future of the European Union. That is also one of the questions on the table which we have to answer to our citizens.”

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