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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 6 June, 2020

Boris Johnson tells Tories: 'We will under no circumstances have checks at or near the Irish border'

Johnson’s assertion to the Tory crowd that “We are European, we love Europe!” was met by silence.

conservative-party-conference Source: PA Wire/PA Images

UK PRIME MINISTER BORIS Johnson said that “we will under no circumstances have checks at or near the border in Northern Ireland”.

In a typically bombastic and erratic speech by Johnson, he told the Tory party conference that “We are European, we love Europe” which was met by silence; jokingly suggested that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn be shipped out to space; and criticised “the cocaine habits of the bourgeoisie” – which would include his Cabinet colleague Michael Gove. 

During his keynote speech to close the Conservative’s annual conference, Johnson gave some more detail of the Irish border proposals he is due to send to the EU today, saying that they would “protect the existing regulatory arrangements for farmers and businesses on both sides of the border” – but also allow the UK to take control of its trade policy “from the start”.

He said that “this is a compromise by the UK”, and asked the EU to “compromise in their turn”, otherwise “the alternative is no-deal”. 

He also reaffirmed his commitment to both the union and the Good Friday Agreement. 

We will protect our great union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 

“We will respect the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement”.

britain-politics People queue to enter Manchester Central Convention Centre, where Boris Johnson is to speak. Source: Frank Augstein

Earlier, he criticised his parliament for not acting on the mandate of the 2016 referendum and delivering Brexit, “refuses to do anything constructive and refuses to have an election”, saying that “voters want to move on”.

“We are like a world-class athlete with a pebble in our shoe – there is one part of the British system that seems to be on the blink. If parliament were a laptop, then the screen would be showing the pizza wheel of doom.”

“Voters have more say over I’m A Celebrity than over this House of Commons,” he told the Tory party conference.

If parliament were a reality TV show then the whole lot of us would have been voted out of the jungle my now – but at least we would have been forced to watch the House Speaker eat a kangaroo testicle.

He also rubbished a second referendum: “can you imagine, another three years of this?”

Johnson walked into the venue for his speech as The Who’s Baba O’Riley played in the background – the music that played at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics when he was London mayor.

He also spoke about making buses sustainable, to rollout “fantastic” broadband to more areas, and reducing knife-crime and a clampdown on “evil” gangs.

In a reference to the Brexit rifts that have been within Johnson’s family (his brother and sister have both been vocal in their opposition to his Brexit position), he said that he had “kept an ace up my sleeve – my mother voted Leave”. That prompted a roar of approval from the audience. 

Johnson thanked his predecessor Theresa May, and Ruth Davidson, who stood aside as the Tories’ leader in Scotland.

As expected at a Tory party conference, he harshly criticised the Labour party membership as “fratricidal anti-semitic Marxists”, and its leader Jeremy Corbyn as a “Communist cosmonaut”.

“When the chlorinated chickens finally waddle from their hen coup…” he said in reference to an election. 

Conference – let’s get Brexit done and bring this country together. 

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