What are we doing? This is the most delicate point in British history for 75 years and the people in charge are and Michael Gove.

It’s like finding an unexploded bomb in the house, so you ring the council and they send round Paul Gascoigne and a kangaroo.

One former MEP wrote that at the crucial dinner, Johnson enraged those present by making remarks about how you can’t trust the French.

I don’t know if it’s true, but it wouldn’t be out of character if he did.

Mark Steel: 'Boris Johnson is a Latin-loving loon with the tact of a football yob'
Cabinet minister Michael Gove’s Brexit efforts have not been convincing
(Image: Getty Images)

You can imagine him, about to sign the deal about fish, saying to Michel Barnier: “Most of you lot stink like a haddock so I’m surprised you haven’t been caught in a net and filleted yourself. Once Covid has gone, we should see if there’s a vaccine to make you immune from being French, ha ha. Now, what’s today’s date?”

This is a man who, at a critical moment in building relations with British Muslims, announced that Muslim women look like “letterboxes”.

This is who we’ve put in charge of negotiating the next five generations’ future.

It would have made more sense to send over an assortment of Millwall fans.

The chief negotiator could say: “Thanks to the President of the Commission for her opening remarks, now may I ask for the UK’s response?”

Mark Steel: 'Boris Johnson is a Latin-loving loon with the tact of a football yob'
British Prime Minister is struggling
(Image: Getty Images)

Then 200 blokes with their tops off could sing, “Two world wars and one world cup, do-da, do-da”, and scream, “Go for it, Spitfire” as their pit bull did a slash against the prime minister of Luxembourg.

They’d do no worse than Johnson, who said many times: “There is no plan for no-deal because we’re going to get a great deal.”

In fact it was an “oven-ready” deal.

Now it turns out the deal he had ready was nothing. If you heard a radio advert saying: “This weekend at the Super Furniture Warehouse we’re offering an AMAZING deal, you’ll go away with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. So hurry, hurry, hurry for our oven-ready offer, then on the way back we GUARANTEE you’ll be stuck for 20 hours in the car park”, you wouldn’t rush to accept that.

Johnson insists if there’s no deal, it will be called an “Australian deal”.

We’ll have the same deal as Australia, which doesn’t have a deal with the EU at all.

So he might as well call it a “Martian deal” because we’ll have the same deal with the EU as Mars.

Or we could name it a “Narnia Deal” – if the book about Narnia was rewritten so that every time you went into a magical land through a wardrobe, you had to queue 20 hours in a lorry.

It’s an upper-class oafishness that pretends to be clever. He went to Eton and sprinkles Latin about.

So he’ll say: “Good afternoon, modus operandi, coitus interruptus”, and only THEN tell us we might have to live in caves for a bit because our EU deal broke down after he set fire to with a firework.

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