European Council president Donald Tusk has reignited his attack on some Brexiteers, claiming there was ‘a lot of space’ in hell for those who pushed for Britain leaving the EU without a plan.
He was speaking after Brussels agreed, following seven hours of negotiations, to extend Britain’s leaving date from March 29 until at least April 12.
At a press conference afterwards, 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’.
He was quizzed about whether this ‘special place’ should be extended to MPs who vote against the Withdrawal Agreement 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, who added: ‘Don’t go to hell!’.
Following talks, Britain has been offered a plan that moves its departure date.
Under the deal agreed by Prime Minister Theresa May, Britain will now stay a EU member state until 12 April – if her controversial withdrawal agreement is rejected, as predicted, by MPs at the third time of asking next week.
If MPs say no next Tuesday, the government can then seek a longer extension if it can both ‘indicate a way forward’ and also agree to hold European elections.
Or, the other scenario by the April 12 date is that Britain leaves without a deal.
However, if Mrs May wins the backing of the House of Commons next Tuesday, the UK will remain a EU member state until 22 May to allow necessary withdrawal legislation to be passed.
‘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,’ said Mrs May after the latest summit.