Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi
- Donald Tusk says opponents of Brexit must not give up "dreams" of it being cancelled.
- "At this rather difficult moment in our history, we need dreamers and dreams. We cannot give in to fatalism," the European Council President told MEPs in Strasbourg on Tuesday morning.
- He urged EU politicians not to lose patience with the Brexit process.
- Tusk addressed MEPs after EU leaders last week agreed to delay Brexit until October 31.
LONDON — European Council President Donald Tusk has urged opponents of Brexit not to give up hope of the United Kingdom cancelling its departure from the European Union.
Speaking to Members of European Parliament on Tuesday morning, Tusk said that those who do not want Brexit "cannot give in to fatalism" and that the EU needs "dreamers" who want to stop it.
"During the European Council one of the leaders warned us not to be dreamers, and that we shouldn’t think that Brexit could be reversed," Tusk told MEPs in Strasbourg.
"I didn’t respond at the time, but today, in front of you, I would like to say: at this rather difficult moment in our history, we need dreamers and dreams. We cannot give in to fatalism.
"At least I will not stop dreaming about a better and united Europe."
Tusk addressed MEPs following last week’s European Council summit where EU leaders agreed to delay Brexit until October 31.
He told MEPs this morning that the six month delay was beneficial because it averts an imminent no-deal Brexit and gives the UK time to figure out how it intends to break the current impasse in Westminster.
The European Council president stressed that the Withdrawal Agreement will not be renegotiated during this time, but that Brussels was ready to change the Political Declaration in order to facilitate a softer Brexit.
He urged EU politicians not to lose patience with the Brexit process.
"I know that, on both sides of the Channel, everyone, including myself, is exhausted with Brexit, which is completely understandable.
"However, this is not an excuse to say: ‘let’s get it over with,’ just because we’re tired.
"We must continue to deal with Brexit with an open mind, and in a civilized manner. Because whatever happens, we are bound by common fate, and we want to remain friends and close partners in the future."
Members of Parliament are on holiday for Easter recess but will return to Westminster next week.
Theresa May’s government is set to hold further talks with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party as part of cross-party efforts to reach a Brexit deal which a majority of the House of Commons can support.
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