The European Council President insisted his push for a long Brexit delay, that will see Britain tied to the EU until October 31, makes room for Article 50 to be revoked by the Government. Mr Tusk urged Brussels not to treat Britain as a second class member because Brexit could be delayed once again. He told the European Parliament there could be British MEPs for “many months or maybe longer”.
On the Brexit delay, Mr Tusk told MEPs: “Last week the European Council of 27 leaders with the British Government agreed a flexible extension until October 31.
“This extension gives our British friends more time and political space to find a way out of the current situation.
“I hope they will use this time in the best possible way. The European Council is awaiting a clear message from the UK on the way forward.”
The former Polish prime minister maintained his stance that Britain could use the time to reverse Brexit.
Mr Tusk said Britain could use the extra time to “to help facilitate the ratification, the EU27 is ready to reconsider the political declaration on the future relationship if the UK position were to evolve”.
He added: “Only a long extension keeps all options remain on the table, such as ratification of current agreement or extra time to rescind Brexit if that were the wish of the British people.
In response to Emmanuel Macron’s attempt to force a short Brexit delay, Mr Tusk concluded: “I would like to say at this difficult moment in history, we need dreamers and dreams, we can not give into fatalism. I will not stop dreaming about a better and united Europe.”
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker insisted his institution is now going on a “Brexit break” after helping agree the long Brexit delay.
He added: “We are focused on other issues for our Union, on our positive agenda.”
Mr Juncker claimed he doesn’t beleive there will be a further delay past October 31.
He said: “The UK can request to revoke Article 50, that has been made very clear. But that is not my working hypothesis and it is not my working hypothesis that we will see a further extension.”
The Commission chief urged Theresa May to deliver a decision from London in order to allow Britain to leave the bloc in an orderly fashion.
He also warned Brexiteers hoping to oust the Prime Minister would not have the opportunity to alter the Brexit deal she agreed with Brussels.
He said: “When the UK leaves the EU is in their hands. How they leave has been set out back in 2018, we decided on that with the British Governemnt in the withdrawal agreement. The negotiated solution of November 2018 is still valid, there will be at no point in time in the future a renegotiation on the withdrawal agreement.
“We are requesting that there will be a loyal and responsible cooperation. We don’t have member States of a second rank.”
Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, warned the long delay risks “killing” the EU off.
He claimed Britain could poison May’s European elections and the delay offers no time pressure for Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May to reach a cross-party Brexit deal.
Mr Verhofstadt said: “In the aftermath of the decision, and you repeated, we may avoid Britain leaving the EU. It’s not our decision, it’s the decision of the British people.
“My fear is the decision could risk killing Europe, at least bog it down for years to come.
“We need to put all our energy into the reform, the renewal of our European Union. And that spirit was absent from you last week.”