Johnson was forced to cancel a planned press conference in Luxembourg on Monday after British anti-Brexit protestors booed and jeered him with chants of "Go home Boris!" and "Stop Brexit!".
The noisy protest meant Johnson was forced to abandon plans to speak alongside the Luxembourg's prime minister Xavier Bettel, following his working lunch with the EU President.
Wall of sound and booing from the British ex-pat protest when Boris Johnson arrives. Not sure how they’re going to be able to do a press conference here pic.twitter.com/QGaQMMXzeW— Jon Stone (@joncstone) September 16, 2019
Johnson reportedly requested that the press conference instead by held inside due to the crowd of opposition protesters. A request which was refused by Prime Minister Bettel, who insisted that it take place in the courtyard, leading to media speculation that the Luxembourg PM may have been intentionally trying to humiliate the UK leader.
Twitter was quick to identify the failure of the two leaders to effectively organise the conference.
An extraordinary backstory to this: Boris asked Bettel to switch the press conference to inside because of the booing crowd. Bettel repeatedly refused, insisting it must be in the courtyard. So Boris pulled out. Did Luxembourg's PM just try to publicly humiliate Britain's PM?— Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) September 16, 2019
So today, Number 10 and Luxembourg govt couldn't even agree on how and where to hold a press conference.— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) September 16, 2019
Behold, the Incredible Hulk! pic.twitter.com/lrqu63MKff— Owen Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) September 16, 2019
Memes mocking the absent PM were quickly posted online as it became clear that Johnson would not be taking part. These included references to Johnson's recent dig at Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn for behaving like a 'chlorinated chicken' in not agreeing to a snap general election.
Johnson in Luxembourg. pic.twitter.com/GE8W9HFVCt
— Brandy Snap (@Brandy_Snap) September 16, 2019
The meeting was the first between Johnson and Juncker since the former succeeded Theresa May as PM in August. Also present at the talks were UK Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay and Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator
The European Commission said it had demanded alternative “legally operational solutions” regarding the Irish backstop, which is designed to prevent a hard-border being erected in Ireland but that the UK government had offered no new solutions.
But a spokesperson for Downing Street called the meeting “constructive,” saying that Johnson had requested the removal of the Irish backstop from the Brexit withdrawal agreement and had ruled out any further delays to Brexit.
Johnson recently said that he plans to ignore legislation ruling out no-deal, and ahead of the meeting with Juncker compared himself to the Incredible Hulk, saying: “The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets.”
Johnson has said that he is willing to ignore a new law dictating Brexit be delayed beyond 31 October if he fails to secure a deal with the EU.