February 3, 2020 - 2:16pm

You heard it here first: the word ‘Brexit’ is banned. Boris went through his full-length speech on EU trade deals without using the B-word. He was even questioned on it afterwards and launched into a lyrical passage of how the event has receded into history (see video above).

Strictly speaking, he referred to Brexit by its absence, saying: “I shall not even name the controversy, except to say that it begins with B and is receding into history” — which just happens to be a neat example of the classical rhetorical device of ‘Apophasis‘, in which you announce what you are *not* going to say.

See our long read from this morning on the impact of Boris Johnson’s rhetorical education on the future of this government.