Boris Johnson cancels press conference in Luxembourg due to 'stop Brexit' protests

PUBLISHED: 13:55 16 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:10 16 September 2019

Protesters outside the Luxembourg Ministry of State in Luxembourg, prior to a meeting between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday September 16, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Protesters outside the Luxembourg Ministry of State in Luxembourg, prior to a meeting between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday September 16, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Boris Johnson has been forced to cancel his outdoors press conference in Luxembourg after anti-Brexit protesters turned up to greet him.

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism

Protesters outside the Luxembourg Ministry of State in Luxembourg, prior to a meeting between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday September 16, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireProtesters outside the Luxembourg Ministry of State in Luxembourg, prior to a meeting between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday September 16, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The prime minister was met with a sea of noise as he arrived and left a restaurant in Luxembourg the meeting with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker for their first face-to-face talks.

"Stop the coup. Tell the truth" and "Bog off Boris!" were among the loudest cries in the barrage directed at the prime minister after he left a two-hour lunch alongside the EU's chief.

The noise from the anti-Brexit protesters meant that an outdoors press conference planned with the prime minister of Luxembourg had to be cancelled.

Juncker said the talks with the PM were "friendly" and negotiations will proceed "at high speed", but there was little public sign of a breakthrough.

Protesters outside Le Bouquet Garni restaurant in Luxembourg. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.Protesters outside Le Bouquet Garni restaurant in Luxembourg. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.

The commission said the government had still not made "legally operational solutions" to replace the controversial Irish backstop element of the Brexit divorce deal, which keeps the UK closely tied to EU rules in order to avoid a hard border.

While the venue for the talks was closed to the public, Remain campaigners calling for Brexit to be stopped drowned out questions from the press.

One of those in attendance was Anthea MacDonald, a retired teacher who has gained dual citizenship from Luxembourg since the referendum.

She told PA: "I think the whole referendum was based on a pack of lies.

Protesters greet Boris Johnson in Luxembourg. Photograph: Sky News.Protesters greet Boris Johnson in Luxembourg. Photograph: Sky News.

"And as time has gone on, more and more people have come to realise that they would rather Remain."

A police officer approached the protesters to politely ask them to move on.

He asked the crowd which side of the debate they were on.

"We want to stay in the EU," they told him.

Protesters and the media outside Le Bouquet Garni restaurant in Luxembourg. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.Protesters and the media outside Le Bouquet Garni restaurant in Luxembourg. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.

"Good," he replied, sticking two thumbs up and grinning.

Johnson tried to laugh off the yells, hisses and anti-Brexit cries of pro-EU demonstrators as he met with Luxembourg's prime minister Xavier Bettel.

Protesters outside the Luxembourg Ministry of State in Luxembourg. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.Protesters outside the Luxembourg Ministry of State in Luxembourg. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, right, shakes hands with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson prior to a meeting at a restaurant in Luxembourg. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, Pool)European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, right, shakes hands with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson prior to a meeting at a restaurant in Luxembourg. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, Pool)

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest anti-Brexit campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.