Johnson skips press conference to avoid anti-Brexit protests

Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel at a news conference after his meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Luxembourg (CNN)British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to abandon a press conference with his counterpart in Luxembourg to avoid anti-Brexit protesters, in an extraordinary diplomatic dust-up between the two nations.

Johnson had been due to make an outdoor statement alongside the Luxembourg leader Xavier Bettel, but British officials asked for it to be moved inside to avoid being drowned out, a UK government source said. Bettel went ahead with the press conference anyway, and officials did not remove Johnson's podium.
Bettel used the event to excoriate Johnson. He said the Brexit process had turned into a "nightmare" and that the UK had failed to present alternative proposals to the deal it had negotiated, but now rejects. "He holds the future of all UK citizens," said an impassioned Bettel, gesturing at the empty podium by his side. "It's his responsibility. Your people, our people count on you."
    As Bettel spoke, a small but noisy crowd, many of whom were British nationals living in Luxembourg, clapped and cheered.

      A rocky day

      Johnson was in Luxembourg for his first face-to-face Brexit talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. It was bumpy from the start -- the British Prime Minister was booed as he arrived at the restaurant where the talks were being held.
      Meanwhile, crowds were already gathering outside Luxembourg's government buildings, where the meeting with Bettel was scheduled. The British government source said officials requested an indoor location for the post-meeting media briefing in order to avoid the chants of protesters.
      Xavier Bettel addresses the meida next to an empty lectern intended for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.