Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, said Thursday that British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt’s comparison of the EU to the former Soviet Union because of the bloc’s negotiating stance on Brexit was "insulting."
“Comparing the European Union to the Soviet Union is as unwise as it is insulting,” Tusk said. "As the president of the European Council and someone who spent half of my life in the Soviet bloc, I know what I’m talking about.”
Hunt said earlier this week that the EU was refusing to allow member states to secede in a manner that was reminiscent of the Soviet Union before it disintegrated, presstv reported.
Tusk said British officials will go nowhere by making harsh statements against the EU to pressure the bloc to accept their demands for a Brexit deal.
“Unacceptable remarks that raise the temperature will achieve nothing except wasting more time. What needs to be done is maximum progress by the October European Council,” said the top EU official.
Tusk made the remarks after a meeting with Irish premier Leo Varadkar.
The EU and Britain are locked up on a dispute about the future situation of the border between Ireland, an EU member, and the UK province of Northern Ireland. Tusk criticized London’s policy of sticking to emotional arguments about the Irish border, saying it was better for Britain to accept realities on the ground.
“No one can expect that because of Brexit, the EU will give up its fundamental values and key interests,” he said.
“Emotional arguments that stress the issue of dignity sound attractive but they do not facilitate agreement. Every actor in this process has their dignity and confrontation in this field will not lead to anything good.”
Britain will officially leave the EU on March 29, 2019. Many expect the two sides to reach an agreement in the upcoming weeks that could set out general principles for management of trade and many other issued will in the future.