Donald Tusk reignites attack on Brexit leaders saying: Hell is still empty... there is a lot of space

Sean Morrison

Donald Tusk has reignited his previous verbal attack on Brexit leaders, saying there was “a lot of space” in hell for those who promoted the UK-EU split without a plan.

The European Council president’s remarks came after seven hours of negotiations on Thursday over whether to grant Britain an extension to Article 50.

Mr Tusk was asked about comments he made last month in which he said he had been "wondering what the special place in hell looks like for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan with how to carry it out safely".

After announcing that the UK politicians would have more time to agree on a withdrawal plan, he was quizzed about whether this "special place" should be extended to MPs who may vote against the a deal put to the Commons next week.

"According to our pope, hell is still empty. It means there is a lot of space," he replied.

He was speaking alongside European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker after plans to push back Britain's departure from the European Union were approved.

Closing the conference in which they confirmed the delay, Mr Juncker told those gathered: "Don't go to hell!"

Britain has been offered a plan which would move its departure from March 29 until May 22, provided MPs approve the Prime Minister's withdrawal agreement next week.

If the deal is rejected in its third "meaningful vote" in the Commons, the UK would be given until April 12 to come to the European Council with its proposals for the way forward.

Addressing the EU's decision on Thursday night, Prime Minister Theresa May said: "What the decision today underlines is the importance of the House of Commons passing a Brexit deal next week so that we can bring an end to the uncertainty and leave in a smooth and orderly manner.”