EU's Tusk says not to give up on 'dream' of Brexit U-turn
EU's Tusk says not to give up on 'dream' of Brexit U-turn
Albert Evans 21 hours Tuesday April 16th 2019
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"We must continue to deal with Brexit with an open mind and in a civilised manner", he said. "The only ones who would benefit are those who resent multilateralism and seek to undermine the global legal order".
Mr Verhofstadt echoed arguments against a Brexit extension made by President Macron, who is the most powerful ally of the MEP's liberal bloc in next month's European Union elections.
And he hinted that Brexit could be delayed further - or even reversed - as he said British MEPs may be members of the Parliament for more than several months.
He said they will have "all the rights and obligations" of full members. The country "cannot" be treated as a second-category member state, he said.
"No, it can not. Therefore, I also ask you to reject similar ideas, if they were to be voiced in this House".
He said the extension will give Britain extra time to ratify Prime Minister Theresa May's withdrawal agreement, or to rethink Brexit, if it so chooses.
Other EU leaders in the room remembered that fact and reminded Tusk that it is not their decision to make.
"Brexit is not the future of the European Union", he said.
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"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".
"At this rather hard moment in our history, we need dreamers and dreams".
"We should approach this seriously as United Kingdom members of the European Parliament will be there for several months - maybe longer".
"My message is that, whatever the outcome of Brexit, Britain is going to be the best place in Europe to invest in with our top universities, the best universities in Europe, with more tech start-ups than France, Germany, and Italy combined". I fear that it will prolong the indecision.
EU summit chair Donald Tusk called on Tuesday for the "dream" that Britain might give up on leaving the European Union not to be dismissed and urged politicians not to let exhaustion with Brexit negotiations make for a hasty exit.
Nigel Farage claimed his new Brexit Party would "sweep the board" at the elections on May 23.
He told the European Parliament: "The proof of this was that the first thing that after last week's decision was to go on holidays".
Parliament is now in recess for Easter, but cross-party talks between the government and Labour are expected to continue today at an official level.
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