Boris Johnson is opposed to partition, he let the House of Commons know. The partition of the United Kingdom, that is, as he conjured notions of an EU fleet of warships enforcing a 'blockade' in the Irish Sea that would cut off Northern Ireland.
Channelling an inner Éamon de Valera, but while beating a 'no surrender' drum, the British Prime Minister insisted he was defending the territorial integrity of the UK.
He claimed the EU had secretly threatened to stymie any British agricultural exports to Northern Ireland "if we fail to reach an agreement to their satisfaction" on the wider relationship.
The man who wrote stories about EU rules making for square tomatoes and straight bananas during his days as a Brussels correspondent for the Daily Telegraph had clearly moved to a higher plane of scaremongering.
The evil outsiders had threatened prohibition of animal exports from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, he insisted - without producing any evidence to back the assertion. "Absurd and self-defeating as it would be, the EU had not taken that particular revolver off the table," he said.
No-one could see the invisible gun supposedly pointing from the despatch box, and he might as well have said Michel Barnier planned to personally cut off all their heads to stare them in the face.
Every good was at risk and therefore liable to tariffs - which could get as high as 90pc for Scottish beef, though it was "travelling not to Dublin, but to Belfast" Mr Johnson claimed. The same with Welsh lamb travelling, in a rhythmically sounding way, from Anglesey to Antrim.
The EU was proposing to "divide our own land" and to ride roughshod over its own commitment to respect the UK customs territory, he thundered.
"No British prime minister, no government, no parliament could ever accept such a provision. These threats reveal the spirit in which some of our friends are minded to conduct these negotiations.
"We must now take a package of protective powers in this bill."
Mr Johnson gave way occasionally to Tory stooges and plants who attempted to assist with set-up questions about reprehensible EU provocation.
But a reckoning was coming. Keir Starmer wasn't there. The Labour Party leader was self-isolating, just as Britain is doing, judging from world reaction to the Internal Market Bill.
Instead, Ed Miliband stepped out of the past, and promptly reached into it for a replacement firearm. There was a "blunderbuss approach" from Westminster, he charged.
From a man who said he wanted to get Brexit done, and won an election on it, "this bill gets Brexit undone."
Worse was the deliberate breaching of international law, said Mr Miliband.
"This is not an argument about Remain versus Leave, it is about Right versus Wrong."
He particularly accused Boris of "legislative hooliganism" on the supreme sensitivity of the Northern Ireland settlement.
The PM had promised to unite the country and had succeeded in uniting his five predecessors - May, Cameron, Brown, Blair and Major - in telling him that what he was doing was wrong. "He is trashing the reputation of this country."
Johnson slumped a little lower at the onslaught, arms folded defensively. Had he really only now discovered that his "oven-ready" deal was half-baked, pursued Miliband, denouncing the PM as "cavalier and reckless."
Ian Blackford of the SNP pointed out that the proroguing of Parliament a year ago had been found by the courts to be illegal.
Johnson has form.