Boris Johnson is setting out his Brexit plan in his first leader’s speech at the Tory party conference.
The prime minister describes his plan as a ‘fair and reasonable compromise’ that all sides can agree on.
He is expected to declare in his speech to Tory members in Manchester that his plan to solve the Irish border question is the final chance to avoid a no-deal exit.
Yesterday, Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg admitted Mr Johnson’s own cabinet did not yet know what was in the PM’s plan – which he hopes he can get agreed by the European Union and parliament before the Brexit deadline of 31 October.
After his speech to the Conservative Party Conference this morning, Mr Johnson will hold a call with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
Mr Juncker’s spokeswoman said Brussels has yet to see the legal text of the prime minister’s plan and warned that any deal must meet ‘all the objectives of the backstop’.
Mr Johnson is expected to submit his formal Brexit proposal to the EU in Brussels later today.
Watch Boris Johnson’s speech live here:
Mr Johnson kicked off his speech paying tribute to his predecessor Theresa May, before saying he felt like a ‘world class athlete with a pebble in his shoe’.
He said: ‘If parliament were a school, Ofsted would be shutting it down or putting in special measures.
‘If parliament were a reality show then the whole lot of us would have been voted out by now.’
Mr Johnson added: ‘At least we would have had the pleasure of watching the speaker eat kangaroo’s testicles.’
He said the ‘entire world’ wants Brexit to be done ‘and move on’.
The PM said: ‘That is why we are moving out of the EU on 31 October, come what may.’
He told the Manchester audience there would be ‘grave consequences’ for trust in democracy if he failed to take the UK out of the EU on 31 October, repeating his pledge to ‘get it done’.
Mr Johnson added: ‘Let’s get it done because of the opportunities that Brexit will bring.
‘Not just to take back control of our money and our borders and our laws, to regulate differently and better, and to take our place as a proud and independent global campaigner for free trade.
‘Let’s get it done because delay is so pointless and expensive, let’s get it done because we need to build our positive new partnership with the EU because it cannot be stressed too much that this is not an anti-European party and it is not an anti-European country.’
He was then given a less than enthusiastic reaction to his declaration: ‘We are European!’
On the contentious issue of the Northern Ireland and Ireland border, the PM said there will not be checks on or near the border in any circumstances under his proposed Brexit deal.
He said: ‘We will respect the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement and by a process of renewable democratic descent, we will go further and protect the existing regulations on both sides of the border
‘And at the same time, we will allow the UK to withdraw from the EU, whole and entire.’
He added: ‘This is a compromise and I hope our friends understand and accept that compromise on their terms,’ before saying the alternative is no-deal.
‘That is not the outcome we want, it is not the outcome we seek, but my friends, we are ready,’ Mr Johnson said.
Mr Johnson claimed the Tory party is ‘now the party of the NHS’ – which embodies values he learnt from his mother.
The prime minister turned to his family during his speech saying: ‘I am going to quote that supreme authority in my family, my mother.
‘And by the way, for keen students of the divisions in my family, you might know that I have kept the ace up my sleeve – my mother voted leave.’
He says he learnt important lessons from his mother on ‘the equal importance, the equal dignity, the equal worth of every human being on the planet’.
The values he learnt from his mother are embodied in the NHS, Mr Johnson said.
He added: ‘The NHS is holy to the people of this country because of the simple beauty of its principle that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from but when you are sick the whole country figuratively gathers at your bedside and does everything it can to make you well again.
‘Everybody pays to ensure that you have the best doctors and the best nurses and the most effective treatments known to medical science.
‘And after 70 years the results are, on the whole, amazing.’
He then turned to crime, targeting ‘evil county lines drugs gangs’.
The PM said he ‘will be tough on crime’ and spoke about extending stop and search powers, adding: ‘When a young man is going equipped with a bladed weapon there is nothing kinder, or more loving, or more life-saving you can do, than to ask him to turn out his pockets.’
Targeting young voters, the prime minister promised to get more young people on the housing ladder.
He also promised ‘better infrastructure, better technology, better education’ to provide people opportunities regardless of their background.
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