Tusk: ’30 Per Cent Likelihood That Brexit Won’t Happen’

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - MARCH 21: European Council President Donald Tusk speaks to the media at the end of the first of a two-day summit of European Union leaders on March 21, 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. Leaders discussed British Prime Minister Theresa May's request for an extension of the deadline for …
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Donald Tusk has said that he believes there is a 30 per cent chance that Brexit will not happen due to people having changed their minds since the referendum.

Tusk, who is president of the European Council, has said he believes that there could be a second referendum and that, if there were, he believes voters would vote to remain as attitudes had changed over the past three years.

“The referendum was at the worst possible moment, it is the result of a wrong political calculation,” He said in an interview with the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza and translated by The Guardian.

He added: “A real debate about the consequences of Brexit wasn’t had during the referendum campaign, but only after the vote.

“Today the result would probably look different. Paradoxically, Brexit awoke in Great Britain a pro-European movement.”

Mr Tusk continued that “after the British referendum in 2016, I thought that if we recognise that the case is closed, it will be the end. Today the chance that Brexit will not happen is, in my opinion, 20-30%. That’s a lot.”

“From month to month, it is becoming increasingly clear that the UK’s exit from the EU will look completely different than the Brexit that was promoted,” Tusk said, adding: “I see no reason to capitulate.”

His comments come despite numerous indications to the contrary, such as the UK having voted for a Brexit referendum in the 2015 general election and then a Brexit supporting party again in 2017. Meanwhile 80 per cent of elected MPs pledged in their manifestos to honour the result of the referendum, with MPs voting 498-114 to trigger Article 50, a majority of 384.

Then of course there was the referendum itself in which over 17.4 million people opted to leave the EU. The latest test for the appeal of Brexit comes in the form of the upcoming EU elections due on May 23rd. It is expected, based on polling, that Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party will win with the most seats.

The latest poll for ComRes shows that the Brexit Party leads the pack with 28 per cent of the vote, followed by Labour on 26 per cent. The Conservatives are currently in distant third place on 14 per cent. The party has polled as high as 30 per cent this month.

Currently all of the outright pro-Remain parties — the Lib Dems, Change UK, Plaid Cymru, the Greens, and the SNP — are only polling a combined 29 per cent.

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