Donald Tusk Offers an Emotional Response to ‘Brexit’ Vote

Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, which sets the agenda for the European Union, offered an emotional response on Tuesday when asked about “Brexit,” the decision by British voters to leave the 28-nation bloc.

“The day after Brexit, I felt as if someone very close to me had left our home, and in the same second I felt also how dear and precious this home was to me,” Mr. Tusk, a former prime minister of Poland, told reporters in Brussels before a meeting of leaders of the bloc’s member states, including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain.

The decision is “not only about procedures, about politics,” but “also about our emotions and feelings,” he said.

He added, “But what has happened happened, and we have to move on with our regular agenda.”

Mr. Tusk added that leaders would discuss not just Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, but also the continuing migration crisis and the situation in Ukraine on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr. Tusk also echoed comments by other leaders that legally, there is nothing for the European Union to consider until Britain invokes Article 50, the mechanism for a country to withdraw from the bloc. Mr. Cameron has declined to invoke it, saying that how and when that decision is made should be left to the next prime minister.

“This is the only legal way we have,” Mr. Tusk said of Article 50. He added: “Europe is ready to start the divorce process even today, without enthusiasm, as you can imagine,” he said.

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