Donald Tusk: Brexit has led to a rise in pro-European sentiment

European Council President Donald Tusk with British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photograph: Dario Pignatelli/PA.

European Council President Donald Tusk with British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photograph: Dario Pignatelli/PA.

DPA/PA Images

Donald Tusk has claimed that there was a "pro-European majority" in the European elections, and said Brexit had helped make it happen.

The president of the European Council branded the UK's attempt at a departure from the EU a "vaccine" in stopping others wanting to follow suit.

Donald Tusk made the comments to journalists as he welcomed "a pro-European majority" in the European Parliament in a press conference after an informal dinner in Brussels between EU leaders.

He said: "I have no doubt that one of the reasons why people on the continent voted for a pro-European majority is also Brexit.

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"As Europeans see what Brexit means in practice they also draw conclusions. Brexit has been a vaccine against anti-EU propaganda and fake news."

Tusk said the outcome of the election was "a good omen for the EU and our future as Europeans".

"The vast majority voted for a more effective, stronger and united EU while rejecting those who want a weak Europe. This is powerful sign. Europe is the winner in these elections.

"In fact, as people have become more pro-European, some major eurosceptic parties have abandoned the anti-EU slogans and presented themselves as EU reformers.

"This is a positive development."

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