The EU Council president has said he still hopes Brexit will not happen, quoting John Lennon’s Imagine to make the point.
Donald Tusk said he was a “dreamer”, as Theresa May visits Brussels for the first time since the extraordinary election result made the direction of the Brexit negotiations much less clear and May’s vision of leaving the Single Market and customs union less assured.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Tusk said, amid the different types of Brexit on offer, some Brits still asked him whether it could be reversed.
“We can hear different predictions, coming from different people, about the possible outcome of these negotiations: hard Brexit, soft Brexit or no deal,” he said.
“Some of my British friends have even asked me whether Brexit could be reversed and whether I could imagine an outcome where the UK stays part of EU.
“I told them that in fact the European Union was built on dreams that seem impossible to achieve. So who knows? You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one.”
In response, a Downing Street spokesman said: “Britain voted to leave the EU on 23 June last year and, as we have been clear all along, we will be delivering the democratic will of the British people.”
Tusk, a former prime minister of Poland, referred to the fall of Communism in his country.
“Although I am 60 I still have dreams. Politics without dreams would be a nightmare. If you had my experience from my part of Europe you would know that miracles do happen.
“Some of my political dreams have come true.”
He added: “And the final decision is for Britain and UK citizens. But dreams are something still very nice.”
At a subsequent press conference with EU Commission president Jean Claude Juncker, Tusk clarified that “of course” he preferred John Lennon to Paul McCartney.
Juncker then said: “Let it be!”