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Boos lead Johnson to cancel his press conference with the Luxembourg Prime Minister

September 16, 2019

Bettel asks Johnson to use the remaining time “intelligently” and demands more than “words”


The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has decided not to appear at a press conference with his Luxembourg counterpart, Xavier Bettel, before the loud boos of which he was subjected during his visit to the duchy on Monday.

Johnson, who has previously held a working lunch with the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has been greeted with boos by the many protesters concentrated in front of the headquarters of the Luxembourg Government, where the meeting took place.

Given the noise of the protesters, who even had megaphones to make their messages heard against the British Prime Minister, one of the main defenders of the UK's departure from the EU before the 2016 referendum and now wants to take the country out next October 31 even if it is without agreement, the 'premier' has chosen not to appear before the press with Bettel, reports BBC.

According to the head of BBC Policy, Laura Kuenssberg, from Downing Street they have explained that, given the noise outside, they had requested that the press conference be inside the building, but Bettel's team has insisted that held outside in the two lecterns that had already been installed.

The Luxembourg Prime Minister has made statements next to the empty lectern left by Johnson. “Mr Johnson has in his hands the future of all citizens of the United Kingdom and the EU who live there,” Bettel said, pointing out where the Briton should have been and recalling that “it is his responsibility” and that “time is depleted”. “Use your time intelligently,” he asked.

Bettel has defended the need to “avoid at all costs” a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, amid applause from those present. “The only solution that is currently on the table is the agreement” which Theresa May signed with the EU, he recalled.

Thus, Bettel has insisted that it is up to the United Kingdom to make proposals, given the rejection generated by the Withdrawal Agreement, which Parliament has not yet endorsed. “We need more than words,” said the Luxembourg Prime Minister, stressing that he is not in favor of new extensions for the mere fact of giving them. “An extension is only an option if it serves an end,” he said.