More lies from Johnson. Johnson has, yet again, done a runner to evade facing scrutiny from the international press.
To be clear stories that Johnson would have been drowned out by a vociferously noisy demonstration are risible. I was there. The press conference took place in a garden by the Ministère d’État closed behind railings to the public. The police had placed further barriers to increase the distance; by London standards the demonstration was modest, only amplified by a sizeable number of photographers. Radio Television Luxembourg, covering the event had asked people to be quiet during the press conference. Johnson simply scooted off to give a hand-picked interview on his own terms. The press conference went on without him, and from outside the ministry garden we listened to Xavier Bettel; Johnson’s absence told its own story.
The pretext of a noisy demonstration is yet another Johnson lie. With Johnson, trust amongst European leaders could not be lower, not only has Johnson no proposals, but his clumsy attempts to run rough shod over Parliament and his own MPs makes parliamentary ratification of any proposals more far-fetched than ever. Xavier Bettel harbours no illusions of Johnson’s self-fulfilling cul-de-sac and seems to have a clearer perception of the situation than Johnson himself. Xavier Bettel will have been straight forward with Johnson. Johnson could not face a press conference in which his lies and misrepresentations would have been directly contradicted.
Johnson is playing to a home gallery of a narrowing sect of doctrinaire Brexiters; there is no sign he had anything to offer; Johnson wants to be seen to be making an effort, Barnier, Juncker and Bettel are being treated with cynical contempt. Johnson’s transparent vacuity was plain for all to see.