HE will not have meant to, but Xavier Bettel probably won the next general election for Boris Johnson.
Most people watching Luxembourg’s prime minister grandstanding before a preening Euro-fanatical mob will have sympathised with Boris.
Xavier Bettel’s insulting stunt will have just pushed more Brits to conclude that the sooner we quit an organisation that doesn’t hide its dislike for us, the better[/caption]
He handed a win to Boris Johnson as most recognise that when someone deliberately insults our PM in his official capacity, he insults the entire country[/caption]
Why, they will ask, should our PM have hung around for them to shout over his words?
Sadly, some British Remainers will cheer any action against Mr Johnson, however rude and unreasonable. The louder they cheer, the more the country swings behind Boris.
He had called on his opposite number — a strong Euro-integrationist — out of courtesy.
Boris was only in Luxembourg — neutral territory, so to speak — to meet outgoing European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.
SHOCKING BREACH OF PROTOCOL
He arrived to boos from a small crowd of privileged protesters whose jeers echoed around the courtyard where the joint press conference was due to be held.
Boris’s team asked to move the event inside where it was quieter but, incredibly, Bettel refused.
Worse, he went ahead with the press conference on his own, gesturing theatrically at Boris’s empty lectern.
It was a shocking breach of protocol and most Brits will have concluded that the sooner we quit an organisation that doesn’t hide its dislike for us, the better.
You don’t have to have voted Leave to see that when someone deliberately insults our Prime Minister in his official capacity he insults the entire country.
Luxembourg does very well out of the EU. It is a big net recipient of EU cash despite having the highest income per head of any of the 28 members.
Britain, which guaranteed Luxembourg’s independence in 1839 and 1867, and ensured that it did not remain occupied after 1914 and 1940, is of course a significant contributor to the Brussels budget.
You don’t have to have voted Leave to see that when someone deliberately insults our PM in his official capacity he insults the entire country.
Plenty of moderate Remainers were uncomfortable at Bettel’s behaviour but a fringe of pro-Brussels fanatics are ready to applaud any EU action, however inconsistent, provided it is anti-British.
When a country is scorned or insulted its people tend to get behind their government. They lose patience with those who, as they see it, are siding with foreign powers.
In Europe, of course, it is viewed differently. There was delight in Brussels when little Luxembourg tweaked the lion’s tail.
In many EU countries, there is an obsession with the British Empire. It colours the press coverage of Brexit and a great deal of politics. Oddly, almost no one in Britain thinks about the empire.
Brussels chief Guy Verhofstadt told the Lib Dem conference: “The world of tomorrow is not a world order based on nation states or countries. It’s a world order based on empires.”
Nothing new there. Many EU leaders have spoken of their desire to create a European empire.
What was new, and shocking, is that the Lib Dems whooped at the idea of Britain becoming a province, like Szechuan or Uttar Pradesh.
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Let me spell this out.
When EU leaders mock us, insult our leaders, deride the 17.4million of us who voted Leave, or call for us to become an EU province, it pushes middle ground opinion towards the Conservatives.
And when Remainers line up with them, they make themselves ridiculous. The general election cannot come soon enough.
Boris was only in Luxembourg to meet outgoing European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker[/caption]
Daniel Hannan is Tory MEP for South East England[/caption]
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