Former President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has said he “didn’t like” Boris Johnson during the EU referendum, but he is not “a 100 per cent liar” and is a “fair negotiator”.
“He is a tough guy, but I like him as a person,” the Luxembourger said of the British prime minister in a BBC interview.
“He is very open, very frank, there is no theatre around the positions he has taken,” he added.
Juncker revealed that Johnson was “a fair negotiator” and that “I didn’t like him during the referendum campaign, but I liked him as a prime minister.”
His interviewer pointed out that during the referendum he “accused [Boris Johnson] of telling lies”, to which Juncker readily responded: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, and he knows that is true.”
“Must have made it somewhat difficult to walk into a room where the man you were negotiating with you had accused of being a liar?” the interviewer suggested.
“Listen, I said that he was using some lies, I didn’t say that he is a 100 per cent liar, that’s not his case,” the former eurocrat laughed awkwardly.
“But having in mind all the criticism which were launched on me from the British side [sic], including [by] ministers and sometimes prime ministers, this was an appropriate answer,” he insisted.