Who is Donald Tusk and what were the EU Council President's controversial comments about Brexiteers?

POLISH politician Donald Tusk has become a household name as the European Council president.

With Brexit just weeks away, we take a look at one of the crucial men in the negotiations and what he's said about the process.

Who is Donald Tusk?

Donald Tusk is a Polish politician and historian who has been President of the European Council since 2014.

Before this he was Prime Minister of Poland and a co-founder and chairman of the Civic Platform.

He has two children and is married to Malgorzata Sochacka.

Tusk has credited his interest in politics to watching a clash between striking workers and riot police when he was a teenager.

He has previously supported stronger political and economic integration within the EU – backing the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty.

After succeeding Herman Van Rompuy he made attempts to co-ordinate the EU's response to the migrant crisis.

He was re-elected to the post on March 9, 2017.

Mr Tusk has said there will be no winners from Brexit and the two years of negotiations after the triggering of Article 50 will be damage limitation.

What is Mr Tusk's stance on Brexit negotiations?

Donald Tusk's most recent tweet showed an openness to allow the UK to come up with another deal.

In March 2019 he tweeted: "During my consultations ahead of #EUCO, I will appeal to the EU27 to be open to a long extension if the UK finds it necessary to rethink its #Brexit strategy and build consensus around it."

His post came after MPs voted to extend Article 50, potentially giving them three months to come up with another deal.

Previously the European Council president's tone has been less conciliatory.

He tweeted on February 6: "I've been wondering what that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted #Brexit, without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely."

The PM confronted the EU chief during a meeting in Brussels over his explosive comment that there is “a special place in hell” for Leave campaign bosses who had not planned.

May said: “I’ve raised the language that he used, which was not helpful and caused widespread dismay”.

I've been wondering what that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted #Brexit, without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely.

What was his role in the triggering of Article 50?

As of 12.30pm on March 29, the UK was set on a course to leave the EU by March 29, 2019.

The PM sent an official letter invoking Article 50 to be delivered to Donald Tusk.

Senior Foreign Office officials couriered the letter under tight security to the office of the UK’s representative to the EU in Brussels, Sir Tim Barrow.

He confirmed he received the letter in a press conference. Now the EU “shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union”.

What happens now for Brexit?

May made a speech in Belfast on February 5 reinforcing the idea that there will be no hard border on the Irish island.

Theresa May announced on January 7 that a vote on her EU Withdrawal deal will take place on Tuesday, January 15, which was rejected 432 to 202.

May has guaranteed MPs a vote on whether the controversial Brexit "backstop" is triggered if the UK fails to conclude a new trade deal with the EU by the end of next year.

She unveiled her "plan B" Brexit plan on January 21 and vowed to have another go with solving the issue of the "backstop".

The EU has not changed their stance on re-negotiating the deal and to re-negotiate the backstop.

Source: Read Full Article