A top Brussels powerplayer says he believes there is a 30 per cent chance the UK will decide to overturn the result of the 2016 referendum and stay in the EU.
European Council president Donald Tusk said that Britain should hold another referendum to help overcome the current paralysis in British politics.
In an interview with a Polish newspaper he said that because the impact of the decision to leave was not discussed before the 2016 vote the result might be a lot different a second time around.
He argued that if the 2016 vote altered a decision made in the 1975 referendum (to stay in the EU after joining two years previously) it should be possible to hold a further vote now.
‘The real debate on the consequences of Brexit started not before or during the referendum campaign, but after the vote. Today the results would probably look different,’ he said in remarks published on the Gazeta Wyborcza daily website.
‘Paradoxically it is Brexit that triggered a pro-European movement in the UK,
‘Today, chances that there will be no Brexit are at 20-30 per cent. That’s a lot.’
Donald Tusk said: ‘Today, chances that there will be no Brexit are at 20-30 per cent. That’s a lot.’
Theresa May’s Government continues to be effectively paralysed over how to proceed with leaving the EU
Mr Tusk has previously voiced his sadness at the UK’s decision to leave and criticised former prime minister David Cameron for allowing the referendum to take place.
Last month, announcing the latest Brexit delay he urged the UK to sort itself out, saying: ‘Please do not waste this time.’
His intervention came as France made yet another warning over the time is it taking the UK to leave.
Paris was one of the main drivers of keeping the Brexit delay agreed last month as short as possible.
And today an adviser to president Emmanuel macron warned the country will not tolerate repeated extensions of the deadline – currently set at October 1.
France pushed hard for a short extension of Brexit negotiations last month, contrary to Germany’s wish to grant a longer period, arguing that pressure should be kept on London. In the end a six-month delay was agreed by European leaders.
‘We must not get sucked into repeated extensions, that’s for sure,’ the adviser said. ‘Our message is clear: a solution must have been found by October 31.’
The French adviser did not close the door on a further extension beyond Oct. 31, but made clear France would continue to argue against delaying talks repeatedly.
‘Maybe European elections (in Britain) will serve as a shock to reach a transpartisan deal,’ the adviser said.