Belfast Telegraph

Tusk backed: Queen's prof Brewer says 'hell too good for no-deal Brexiteers' - figuratively

By Jonathan Bell

A Queen's University professor has defended stating hell was "too good for no-deal Brexiteers," saying he did not mean it literally.

John D Brewer took to Twitter after the European Council President Donald Tusk said there was a "special place in Hell" for those Brexiteers who advocated leaving the EU "without a sketch of a plan".

The post-conflict studies academic took to Twitter saying: "Special place in hell for no deal Brexiteers? Hell is too good for them."

Like Donald Tusk before him, many took to Twitter to vent their anger at the remark.

Of the hundreds to respond, some backed his comments. Others described them as "disappointing" saying he should delete the tweet.

Some highlighted how the professor had written about the need for forgiveness after conflict and “public tolerance and compromise,” suggesting that was at odds with his tweet.

"Hell is coming (maybe)," another tweeted.

"It's called a no-deal #Brexit, sadly we will all suffer, keep speaking your mind and don't be intimidated."

Responding to the criticism Professor Brewer said he was talking figuratively about a "wrong/bad place".

"Hell is not real. It’s not a place. It is figurative not literal. Figurative speech for a wrong/bad place. A ‘no deal Brexit’ - which is the kind referred to - is thought by many people to be one such bad place," he tweeted.

Tusk's comments sparked fury in Westminster and in Northern Ireland.

The DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson branded the European Council President a "devilish, trident wielding, euro maniac," accusing him of "contempt" for Brexit voters. 

“This devilish euro maniac is doing his best to keep the United Kingdom bound by the chains of EU bureaucracy and control,” he said.

“It is Tusk and his arrogant EU negotiators who have fanned the flames of fear in an attempt to try and overturn the result of the referendum.

“All he will succeed in doing is stiffening the resistance of those who have exercised their choice to be clear of Tusk and his trident wielding cabal.”

Later DUP leader Arlene Foster  described Mr Tusk's remarks as “deliberately provocative” and “disrespectful” and a time for "cool heads".

"It is a time to have focus and it is a time to try and find solutions, not to be disrespectful to those of us who voted in a democratic way to leave the European Union."

On Thursday the Prime Minister is to meet senior EU officials in Brussels where she is hoping to secure

Queen's University has been approached for a comment.

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