Donald Tusk: Brexit One of the ‘Saddest Moments’ in Europe This Century

By Platforma Obywatelska RP (Wizyta Premiera w Toruniu) via Wikimedia Commons

Donald Tusk, the chief of the European Union, has said that Brexit is one of the “saddest moments” in the recent history of Europe.

The president of the European Council also said that the thought of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union makes him “furious.”

Poland’s former Prime Minister made the said comments during an acceptance speech for honorary membership of the law society of University College Dublin.

He stated: “I don’t like Brexit. Actually, that’s an understatement. I believe Brexit is one of the saddest moments in 21st-century European history. In fact, sometimes I am even furious about it.”

He continued: “The most tragic moments in our history in Europe is because of ideologists.

“This is why we always prefer pragmatism in politics rather than grand visions.”

Tusk went on to say that Brexit is one of the reasons to be concerned regarding the possibility of a “gloomy and for sure spectacular show of another European disunion.”

He cited the questions that Brexit has raised regarding the future arrangements for the Irish border as one of the areas where he noticed a “dangerous potential for conflict.”

The European Council President noted: “Here in Dublin, and in Belfast, today, on the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, thousands of people are looking with concern and anxiety to the future of the peace process after Brexit.”

Tusk informed the audience at University College Dublin that the said issue was at the top of his agenda, stating: “This year I will be about Brexit mainly, unfortunately.

“It means instead of integration I will be dealing with disintegration, in fact. By this, I mean some kind of damage control process.

“My main focus will be to eliminate, or at least to reduce, negative side effects of Brexit with the Irish question, of course, at the centre of my attention.”

Tusk also made a sharp reference to immigration during the Brexit debate when he said the audience in Dublin: “You became a country of immigration for the first time, receiving more people proportionately than the UK. Yet nobody ever hears of any problems on this issue from Ireland.”

Notwithstanding his intentions to speak out so strongly against Brexit, the President of the European Council was keen to emphasise that he was not a European federalist.

He stated: “I’m really obsessed with European unity. But at the same time, I’m not a federalist.

“I don’t believe in one European nation or one European superstate.”