Europe leader talks about 'special place in hell' for Brexiters as yet another company moves assets out of UK

Pedro Gonçalves
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Europe leader talks about 'special place in hell' for Brexiters as yet another company moves assets out of UK

Donald Tusk, the European council president, has said there was a "special place in hell" for politicians who promoted Brexit "without even a sketch of a plan" as yet another company announces it is shifting assets to Germany amid Brexit fears.

A unit of Swiss banking group UBS has secured the green light to transfer some of its UK assets to Germany, Bloomberg reported. 

The transfer from British arm UBS Ltd. to German unit UBS Europe SE will take place next month. Less than 200 jobs are expected to be affected by the move, which involves the transfer of assets worth €32bn.

"I've been wondering what that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted #Brexit, without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely"

The business being shifted is said to comprise deposit taking, operations in equities, foreign currency and credit, along with the bank's corporate client solutions function.

Judge Alastair Norris, who gave the nod to the asset transfer, said that the move is triggered by the bank's "external shock" of Brexit.

Companies are becoming increasingly worried as there is still no deal with only weeks to go before the UK has to leave the EU.

In an indication of just how strained negotiations between the European Union and United Kingdom have become, Donald Tusk tweeted that: "I've been wondering what that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted #Brexit, without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely."

The comments drew swift condemnation from Brexiteers, with Leave campaigner and former UKIP leader, Nigel Farage tweeting: "After Brexit we will be free of unelected, arrogant bullies like you and run our own country -- Sounds more like heaven to me."
Host of Good Morning Britain, Piers Morgan, also condemned Tusk's comments, tweeting "These EU clowns are turning me more pro-Brexit every time they open their insulting mouths."
Speaking in Brussels, after meeting the Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar,  the European Council leader said the EU's top priority was to prepare for the "fiasco" of a no-deal Brexit, while ruling out any renegotiation of the Irish backstop.

"There is no room for speculation here. The EU is first and foremost a peace project. We will not gamble with peace or put a sell-by date on reconciliation," he said, rejecting British demands for a time limit on the Irish backstop.

He added: "I've been wondering what that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan [for] how to carry it out safely."

According to the FT, one telltale sign of the low reached in the Brexit saga is a clear one. Even though May is set to go to Brussels to renegotiate the Irish backstop and try to salvage her withdrawal agreement that has come under fire from all sides of Westminster  the political blame game has already started over responsibility for a chaotic no-deal exit.