EUROPEAN Council President Donald Tusk raised the spectre of “no Brexit” yesterday — and urged defence of European “heritage” from outside influences.
Addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Mr Tusk said it was up to the British government whether the grinding talks on post-exit trade would end with “a good deal, no deal or no Brexit.”
European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker rushed to assure Westminster that Brussels had no “hostile” agenda towards Britain.
“Those who don’t want a deal — the no-dealers — they had no friends in the commission,” he said. A Downing Street spokesman insisted: “Brexit is not going to be reversed.”
Mr Tusk also urged MEPs to defend the European “cultural community” in light of the refugee crisis.
“Our openness and tolerance cannot mean walking away from protecting our heritage,” he said.
That “doesn’t mean that we are better or worse — we are simply different from the outside world,” Mr Tusk said
But “we have the right and obligation to care for what distinguishes us from other cultures — not in order to be against someone, but to be ourselves. Without a feeling of superiority, but with a feeling of justified pride.”
Mr Tusk said the EU had a “duty” to protect the bloc’s external borders, saying: “The migration crisis has made us aware, with full force, of the need to rebuild effective control of our external borders.”
And he added: “the aggressive behaviour of certain third countries, and the destabilisation around Europe, has made us aware of the need to defend our territory.”