LUXEMBOURG (Dispatches) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has failed to convince EU leaders he has a serious plan for a Brexit deal, then ducked out of a planned news conference under a chorus of abuse from protesters.
Before setting off for talks in Luxembourg, Johnson had compared himself to comic book giant Hulk, but when anti-Brexit protesters gathered he left Prime Minister Xavier Bettel to field questions solo.
A visibly angry Bettel pointed in bitter amusement at the empty podium in front of the British flag beside him as he warned that Britain had failed to come up with any credible way to revive the Brexit withdrawal deal.
It was time to "stop speaking and act," he told the absent Johnson.
"For me I have just one withdrawal agreement on the table and it's the one from last year," Bettel said. "There are no changes, there are no concrete proposals for the moment on the table and I won't give an agreement to ideas."
After the brief talks with Johnson, Bettel headed to Paris for talks with France's President Emmanuel Macron. He warned that EU leaders will not postpone Brexit beyond October 31 if Britain does not come up with written suggestions soon.
"An extension is only an option it if serves a purpose," he warned.
For his part, once he was safely clear of the small crowd of British residents of Luxembourg who had gathered outside Bettel's office for the noisy protest, Johnson made brief remarks to British broadcasters.