German foreign minister ‘not amused’ by Boris Johnson

Posted On: 
5th November 2016

The Foreign Secretary was given a humiliating welcome by his German counterpart who said he was “not amused” with Mr Johnson’s decision to back Brexit.

German Minister of the Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his British counterpart Boris Johnson shaking hands after a joined press conference in Berlin.
Credit: 
PA images

Frank-Walter Steinmeier was speaking during a tense joint press conference in Berlin in which he also warned Britain against creating “a limbo situation” around Brexit after the High Court ruled that an Act of Parliament was required to trigger withdrawal from the European Union.

At the press conference, Mr Johnson played on John F Kennedy’s famous quote by announcing “Ich nicht bin ein Berliner” but said his wife was born in the German capital.

He also interrupted Mr Steinmeier when he was asked if he was running out of patience with Britain. Mr Johnson leapt to take the question. “He is not running out of patience, I can tell you,” he insisted.

Mr Steinmeier did not altogether concur, saying only: “It is not a matter of personal patience.” He continued: “I hope very much that the consequences of the High Court ruling won’t lead to extending the whole process, and dragging things out. A limbo situation doesn’t help anybody. Two years are a rather short period.”

The German Foreign Minister’s comments reflected a growing weariness among European diplomats over Brexit and Mr Johnson’s general demeanour.

Mr Steinmeier told Mr Johnson he was not happy about his role in the campaign to bring Britain out of the EU, a move he said was “regrettable”.

“You were on the side of those who saw the future of Britain outside the EU. I am making no secret of the fact, and you know that, that I was not particularly amused about this,” he said.