"It is not a V sign from the cliffs of Dover, it is the expression of a legitimate and natural desire for self-government.that is surely not some reactionary Faragist concept".
His call for a clean break with Brussels puts Johnson at odds with other members of Prime Minister Theresa May's Cabinet, not least her finance minister Philip Hammond, who wants Britain's economy to diverge only "modestly" from the EU.
He said: "It's clear that if Britain will indeed leave both the customs union and the single market and perhaps take some distance from EU rules and regulations, there will be, I think, a degree of friction in the trade".
He also used it as an opportunity to back the prime minister, saying in answer to a question from one journalist that Theresa May was "the cure" to "Brexchosis".
But he was on his "best behaviour" and "stuck rigidly to the script" with this speech in central London, BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith said.
Labour MP Chuka Umunna described the speech as an "astonishing exercise in hypocricy".
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, she said: "The problem with that is, from the point of view of a committee chair, we've got this speech being made which doesn't seem to set out any detail. In the end these are people's feelings and people's feelings matter".
John Foster, the CBI's director of campaigns, said businesses were committed to making Brexit a success, but "evidence, not ideology, should guide the UK's thinking on a close future relationship with the EU".
And Boris also tells Leavers that "must also reach out to those who still have anxieties". More people voted for Brexit than anything in the history of this country.
"That is surely not some reactionary Farageist concept", he added in a reference to the former UKIP leader.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson Wednesday faced a backlash in seeking to allay fears over Britain's pending exit from the European Union as the government kicked off a campaign to calm doubters and silence critics of the move known as Brexit. "So let's not go there". And senior European Union officials have rejected the idea of the "three buckets" principle, arguing that it amounts to "cherry-picking" from the single market. You know, we can be optimistic but actually if people who run the businesses are anxious about actually making plans for staying, working at the University here in Loughborough, or another company, or do they go back home or move somewhere else overseas to go and work?
Further speeches will be delivered by David Davis, the Brexit secretary (on how Britain's businesses will maintain high standards), Cabinet Office minister David Lidington (on the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and global trade secretary and disgraced former defence secretary Liam Fox (on how the United Kingdom will forge new trade deals).
"His vision of Brexit may be many things, but it is not liberal", Mr Umunna said.
However, his comments were immediately challenged by pro-Remain corners with Tory backbencher Sarah Wollaston, who warned that his speech lacked any clarity of the obstacles to his approach to Brexit. She is due to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday as Britain and the rest of the European Union try to agree on the terms of a transition deal to smooth Britain's exit.