Tusk's Brexit ‘Hell’ Moment a Touch Provocative, Ireland Says

(Bloomberg) -- European Council President Donald Tusk’s musings on a "special place in hell" for those who campaigned for Brexit without planning the finer details were a “little provocative,” Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday reiterated that the changes she’s seeking to the so-called Irish backstop withdrawal agreement must be legally binding for U.K. lawmakers to approve a deal. The prime minister also said she told Tusk his comments were “unhelpful’’ and had caused “dismay’’ in the U.K.

Tusk’s comments captured the “frustration” on the EU side, Coveney said in a Bloomberg Television interview.

While May pledged to deliver Brexit “on time,” Coveney said Ireland has no problem with an extension of the Brexit process, “as long as there is a purpose.” He also warned that failure to resolve the Irish border could cause the U.K. difficulties when it comes to reaching a new trade deal with the U.S.

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