STRASBOURG (Reuters) - Donald Tusk, the European Council president, weighed in to new British debate on whether to hold a second referendum on Brexit by saying on Tuesday that Britons would be welcome to stay in the European Union.
Updating the European Parliament on the summit he chaired last month at which EU leaders agreed to open talks with London on the post-Brexit future, the former Polish premier said:
"If the UK government sticks to its decision to leave, Brexit will become a reality, with all its negative consequences, in March next year, unless there is a change of heart among our British friends."
Referring to a comment about the reversibility of the 2016 referendum vote to leave by Britain's Brexit minister, Tusk then added: "Wasn't it David Davis himself who said 'If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy'?"
"We here on the continent haven't had a change of heart. Our hearts are still open to you."
(Reporting by Alastair Macdonald in Brussels; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)