Tusk: Responsibility now lies with London to pass new Brexit deal

European Council president Donald Tusk has said the "punchline" in the Brexit deal drama will be whether British prime minister Boris Johnson "has done what he should" and passes the agreement through the House of Commons.

Tusk: Responsibility now lies with London to pass new Brexit deal

European Council president Donald Tusk has said the "punchline" in the Brexit deal drama will be whether British prime minister Boris Johnson "has done what he should" and passes the agreement through the House of Commons.

Mr Tusk told the Irish Examiner that the reality is responsibility now lies with London as he confirmed there is a "signal" that a deal will be signed off on between the EU and the UK at today's EU summit.

Speaking to reporters as he arrived at the European People's Party meeting before the EU summit, Mr Tusk said "I'm not an expert when it comes to the House of Commons" and that it is "very difficult to predict" if a deal will be passed by MPs.

However, he said even if a deal is agreed at the summit the "punchline" of Brexit will depend on what happens in London this weekend.

"I am not an expert when it comes to the House of Commons, it's not only for me I think very difficult to predict and assess what is the real situation in London," before adding when asked if he has been assured by Mr Johnson a deal will be backed by MPs:

"Otherwise [without this assurance] I think we don't have a clear signal that more or less everything is okay, so we have a clear agreement to finalise this process from London.

"I have to say it's not the happiest day of my life, but deal is better than no deal."

Mr Tusk paused for a number of seconds when asked directly if he was "surprised" at the DUP's decision to rule out agreeing to the deal this morning, before saying he has never "expected anything from the DUP".

"Frankly speaking I haven't expected anything from the DUP because I'm not an expert when it comes to this party.

"It was clear from the very beginning that we could expect some problems and some doubts, and obstacles from this side, but you know for me the most important thing is the punchline, the final decision, and I mean that prime minister Johnson has done what he should."

Asked if he would support calls for a Brexit extension if the deal is rejected by the House of Commons, Mr Tusk said:

"It's not my decision because for any kind of extension technical one we need more time to ratify this deal or longer extension because of the political crisis in London, we need a clear progress from the British side and it's too early."

Asked if an emergency EU summit could be called next week if a deal is not backed by MPs, he added:

"That's too long a perspective, too long, every single hour, single minute is important in this process. Two weeks? One month? it's like an epoch."

Asked if a deal will pass the House of Commons as he arrived at the same European People's Party event in Brussels, European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker simply joked:

"I am not in charge of Westminster."

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