Donald Tusk says he's 'not happy' with delay
Donald Tusk has accused the UK of “wasting time” on Brexit as the race to succeed Theresa May as prime minister continues.
The European Council President said he understands the internal problems that which have resulted from Brexit and could “accept the political reality”, but admitted that he was “not happy” with the delay.
Tory leadership finalists Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson will now take part in a month-long campaign which will see them attempt to win over Conservative party members and become the next prime minister.
The UK is due to leave the European Union by October 31 after securing a second extension to the Brexit deadline in April.
Leaving a press conference in Brussels, Mr Tusk said: “When it comes to Brexit, I am afraid that you wasted the time, I can understand why: the internal problem, the political transformation in London."
He added: “This is something we should respect. I’m not happy with this, but I have to accept the political reality."
Earlier, Tusk said that the Brexit process could become more “exciting” with a change of British prime minister, but further reiterated that the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by Theresa May could not be reopened.
Boris Johnson, the frontrunner in the Conservative leadership contest, has said that, if elected, the UK will be leaving the EU by 31 October with or without a deal.
Jeremy Hunt says that he plans to present Brussels with a “credible plan and a new negotiating team”, saying he will not set a “hard stop” on October 31 and thereby risk a failed general election.
The winner of the Conservative leadership contest is set to be announced in the week beginning 22 July, with the House of Commons expected to go on summer recess.