DONALD Tusk in brutal Brexit rant. EU boss condemns Brexiting Britain to hell. Brexit vote is Satan’s curse.

Sorry, I’m getting carried away.

But the minute Donald Tusk spoke, you could guess the tilt of today’s headlines in Britain’s alarmist mainstream press. The European Council president was only saying what most Scots already think when he wondered aloud: “What that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of plan how to carry it out safely.”

READ MORE: Donald Tusk says there is a 'special place in hell' for prominent Brexiteers

But the former Polish premier took an instant hammering, branded a “devilish, trident-wielding, euro maniac” by DUP MP Sammy Wilson. Sammy, by the way, thinks climate change is a “con” and has described the Paris Agreement as “window dressing for climate chancers”.

Nice guy. And then Peter Bone Tory MP for Wellingborough tried to prompt a response from the Speaker, about Tusk’s “special place in hell for Brexiteers”. It was up to the SNP’s Joanna Cherry to put the ageing Tory MP right: “Hell is reserved for those who promoted Brexit without even the sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely.” A criticism of the leaders, not the foot-soldiers. Peter, by the way was shortlisted for the title of the most cretinous of all Tory backbenchers by the Independent’s Matthew Norman in 2015, but didn’t actually win. Clearly, though, he is maturing with age.

The National:

WATCH: Joanna Cherry destroys Brexiteer's claim in Commons

So let’s be clear. Donald Tusk is employed to represent the interests of the 27 EU member states who are still waiting for any kind of coherent British plan with just 50 days left till Brexit. Why did he say what he said? He might have been exasperated. He might have been at a total loss to know how else to convey the gravity, urgency and despair European politicians and citizens feel at the self-harming, behaviour of Britain’s Prime Minister, Parliament and intransigent Brexiteers. He is allowed. And actually, his outspoken remarks have brightened the interminable, intractable Brexit Groundhog Day for millions.

The Republic of Ireland agrees with Donald Tusk. All parties in Northern Ireland except the DUP agree with Donald Tusk.

Remain-voting Brits (at least 50% of the total) agree with Donald Tusk along with around 70% of Remain-backing Scots.

Alan Ferrier from Edinburgh was one of 50 thousand people who liked Tusk’s unapologetic statement on Twitter, observing: “Donald Tusk is a carpenter’s son from Poland. He grew up with gun battles on his street, ran with anti-communist gangs, was imprisoned by the Soviets and helped win Poland’s autonomy. He has precisely zero f***s to give about Brexiteer Tories accusing him of ‘lacking manners’.”

Well quite.

Just as the disrespectful, clumsy questioning of BBC broadcasters like John Humphreys, Nick Robinson and Andrew Marr has only produced soaring respect for Irish politicians like Simon Coveney and Helen MacEntee, so the right-wing press ganging up on European politicians like Donald Tusk, have only given him cult status in the eyes of despairing Remainers.

Here is a man looking straight down the barrel of the British shotgun, and neither blinking nor mincing his words. It’s only when folk see contemputous defiance fired back at the Tories, that it’s clear another future is possible – with European leaders who take democracy and the fate of minority communities like Northern Ireland more seriously than the Mother Ship, Britannia herself.

Of course, the EU has problems. Of course we can’t forget the way EU politicians treated Greece, turned a blind eye to Spanish state violence in Catalonia, and have decided mass youth unemployment in many members states is a price worth paying for the survival of the euro.

But right now, as we stand between a rock and a hard place, the sight of Donald Tusk standing shoulder to shoulder with the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the face of demonisation by the British media is a wondrous sight to behold.

The National:

Whose gang would Scots rather be in? The evasive, back-stabbing, scapegoating Brits or the straight-talking, uncompromising EU negotiators who’ve had the guts to confront Theresa May over the casual damage her shambolic non-leadership is about to unleash?

I’d bet even a few Brexit supporters secretly relish the prospect of Boris, Nigel, Jacob, Michael Gove, David Davis and the rest sweating it out beside Auld Nick as their self-obsessed, vain-glorious tilt at Europe brings an ill-defined, post-Brexit dream crashing down for millions of swindled voters.

But watch.

Even though Donald Tusk is clearly right, the newspapers that have cynically nursed and weaponised every grievance and division in English society are rubbing their hands at Christmas come early. A scapegoat. An enemy. A vile, sneering Eurocrat. No matter that Tusk was attacking the lack of a workable Brexit plan, not the vote itself; no matter that he was having a go at Brexit leaders, not voters, and no matter that pro-Brexit campaigns have already been fined for cheating in the referendum –the tabloids will be nursing their collective wrath to keep it warm.

This is beyond crazy.

Coming the day before Theresa May’s latest forlorn trip to Brussels on her near-endless Brexit misery tour, Tusk’s powerful statement merely signalled what everyone else knows.

Theresa May has gambled and lost.

The EU intend to play hardball and refuse renegotiations of either the Withdrawal Bill or the vexed Irish backstop because they know that behind the Tory bluster there’s a stark reality.

The horrific prospect of a no-deal Brexit has shocked Tory MPs and ministers out of denial and they are ready to back either an extension to the Article 50 process or a Norway-style deal, including the cursed freedom of movement that prompted Brexit in the first place. Good luck selling that to angry Brexit voters or persuading less than enthusiastic Norwegians to let crazy Britain crash the party.

WHY? Well look at the announcement sneaked out by HM Revenue & Customs on Monday. Goods shipped to Britain from the EU will be waved through UK ports without checks for a year if there is a no deal Brexit to reduce gridlock.

Well that’s alright then isn’t it?

Absolutely not.

It means EU importers will have to pay more for UK products, but EU products imported to the UK will not be subject to tariffs – creating an estimated 12% hit for UK manufacturers.

And according to Joe Owen, from the Institute for Government; “Even if the Government fixes 100% of the problems, that will only ever be 50% of the total picture. It’s the French authorities that will determine whether or not parts of Kent become a lorry-park.”

Quite. And we all know how the French are feeling about the UK Government right now – angrier than Donald Tusk.

Earlier this week Chris (no ferries contract) Grayling was banned from Calais. The Transport Minister was accused of being disrespectful over plans to divert ships away from Calais in the event of a no-deal Brexit and port chairman Jean-Marc Puissesseau wasn’t having it.

He declared Grayling is no longer welcome in Calais because he gave no warning of plans to “bypass” the town and divert goods to the Belgian port of Ostend instead.

Puissesseau said: “Mr Grayling came to us in November and asked if we would be ready. We told him ‘yes’…. he did not tell us he wanted to reduce the activity. It is not fair at all, it is completely disrespectful. I don’t want to see him again.”

Another bit of long overdue, Gallic straight-talking from Mr Puissesseau.

Of course, Scottish politicians have been trying to administer the same reality checks for years but have been humiliated and ignored because that’s the way Westminster (doesn’t) work.

How refreshing to see presidents and parliaments with their own independent power and equal clout, finally deliver some knockout blows to a punch-drunk Westminster establishment.

Thanks to Messrs Tusk and Puissesseau we’ve all had some light relief, but another wider point is clear.

If you believe Scotland really is Better Together inside the UK, then this unpleasant and hysterical overreaction to a plain statement of fact by Donald Tusk is the kind of nonsense you must swallow.

We all deserve better.