EU leader's impassioned outburst against Brexit as Johnson hides from press conference

PUBLISHED: 16:10 16 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:54 16 September 2019

Xavier Bettel holding a press conference after meeting Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the prime ministers office in Luxembourg. Photograph: Emmanuel Claude/Luxembourg Government/PA Wire.

Xavier Bettel holding a press conference after meeting Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the prime ministers office in Luxembourg. Photograph: Emmanuel Claude/Luxembourg Government/PA Wire.

A European leader has let loose his deep frustration with Boris Johnson and Brexit as the UK prime minister ducked their joint press conference.

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After joint talks with Boris Johnson, the Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel was left to field press questions standing next to an empty podium.

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

As expected, the European leader reaffirmed the 27 member states' commitment to preserving the single market and the ideals of the Good Friday Agreement.

He also said that Article 50 can only be extended if there are concrete written proposals for the Withdrawal Agreement on the table, and called on Johnson to bring "more than just words".

But it was when he started talking about the future of UK and EU citizens that he warmed to his topic.

"But our people need to know what is going to happen to them in six weeks' time," he said. "They need clarity, they need certainty, and they need stability.

"You can't hold their future hostage for party political gains," he continued, to cheers from protesters.

He called the situation a "nightmare" and slammed the uncertainty that citizens were living under.

But it was after he had reiterated that Johnson had presented no new written proposals for a deal, that he suddenly seemed to go even more off-script in an emotional outburst.

"I repeat, this Brexit, it's not my choice!" he said.

"It's been a decision from the party, it was a decision from David Cameron to do it. they decide. They decide. I deeply regret it. But don't put the blame on us because now they don't know how to get out of this ... situation they put themselves in!" he said, clearly trying to find polite wording.

He slammed the conditions of the referendum itself. "A clear information campaign from my point of view was not organised in the UK," he said, adding that people had not stood up to counter "lies".

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