(SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL, DONALD TUSK, SAYING: "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 safely." Unusually harsh words from the EU's Donald Tusk.
Who also said Wednesday (February 6) he no longer believes there's a way to stop Britain leaving the European Union, blaming what he called the "pro-Brexit stance" of both Prime Minister Theresa May and the UK opposition leader.
With just 50 days to go until Britain is due to leave, the best hope is to salvage a deal to arrange an orderly withdrawal, Tusk said.
A downbeat assessment for a man who has in the past encouraged the hopes of those Britons who want to stop Brexit.
UK lawmakers trashed May's deal in January, and she's since been scrambling for a compromise.
She will try to tweak the deal with EU officials in Brussels on Thursday (February 7) -- though they so far say they won't reopen an agreement they toiled over for two years.
Before that -- a visit to the British-ruled province of Northern Ireland to try to thrash out alternatives to the backstop, a fall-back plan that is the key Brexit sticking point.
If enacted, Britain would keep some EU rules so that there wouldn't have to be customs checks on its land border with EU-member Ireland.
Unionists again said Wednesday they want the backstop changed -- they fear it will endanger Northern Ireland's place in the UK.
Brexiters also hate the prospect of keeping EU rules -- and some are pressuring May to give the backstop a time-limit.
But Ireland's Leo Varadkar, in Brussels Wednesday, showed no signs of dropping his insistence that it has to be open-ended.
There are fears any "hard" Irish border could be a flashpoint, reigniting decades of conflict there.