“We are like a world-class athlete with a pebble in our shoe,” he told the Tory faithful.
“If parliament were a laptop, then the screen would be showing the pizza wheel of doom. If parliament were a school, Ofsted would be shutting it down.
“If parliament were a reality TV show, the whole lot of us would have been voted out of the jungle by now. But at least we could have watched the speaker being forced to eat a kangaroo testicle.”
The attack came as MPs prepared to finally debate the domestic violence bill – long delayed by Theresa May and by Mr Johnson’s aborted shutdown of parliament last month.
“What the whole world wants is to be calmly and sensibly done with the subject, and to move on,” the audience was told.
“And that is why we are coming out of the EU on 31 October, come what may conference. Let’s get Brexit done, we can, we must and we will.”
Despite No 10’s overnight promise of a “take it or leave it” threat to the EU over a Brexit deal, Mr Johnson did not issue the warning in the 45-minute speech.
On the Brexit endgame, Mr Johnson appeared to confirm leaked details of his plan, which – with customs checks in Ireland and a Stormont ‘lock’ on different regulations for Northern Ireland – is likely to be rejected in Brussels.
Describing his offer as “constructive and reasonable” and “a compromise”, he said: “We will under no circumstances have checks at or near the border in Northern Ireland.”
And he added: “At the same time we will allow the UK – whole and entire – to withdraw from the EU, with control of our own trade policy from the start.”
The prime minister also told the Tory faithful: “It cannot be stressed too much that this is not an anti-European party and it is not an anti-European country. We love Europe, we are European.”
However, his audience remained quiet, until being roused to a half-hearted cheer by Mr Johnson, who ad-libbed: “I love Europe anyway.”
John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor, blamed Mr Johnson for failing to negotiate a deal that parliament could support.
“The Brexit proposals reportedly being considered by Boris Johnson are neither credible nor workable. They are a cynical attempt to force through a no-deal Brexit.”
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