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BoJo and the empty lectern:

Boris Johnson humiliated by Luxembourg PM at 'empty chair' press conference -Guardian

Bettel, who gave a wave to the crowds and offered a defence of their right to demonstrate after Johnson's decision to leave, did not mince his words as he took the lectern next to the one left empty by the British prime minister's no-show, with the union flag still in position.

He mocked the varying suggestions in recent weeks from Johnson that there had been good progress in the Brexit talks and that it would take the strength of the comic hero, the Incredible Hulk, to leave the EU with a deal.

Bettel said: "I asked also Mr Johnson: I read in the papers a few days ago that it goes from `big progress', to Hulk, to David Cameron proposing a second Brexit [referendum]. And Mr Johnson said there won't be a second referendum, because I asked him: wouldn't that be a solution to get out of the situation?"

Politico is even blunter:

It was a remarkable performance on many levels, not least because the dressing down of the British leader for mishandling Brexit came not from one of the EU's great powers, the president of France or the chancellor of Germany, but from the prime minister of tiny Luxembourg. And it showed not only just how deep anger now runs among the EU27 but also how fiercely united they remain in loyalty to Ireland and the so-called backstop provision to protect the Irish border that Johnson on Monday continued to insist must be removed from the Withdrawal Agreement.
by Bernard on Tue Sep 17th, 2019 at 12:00:40 PM EST

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