A cross-bench or independent peer since 2004, John Kerr has emerged as a severe critic of the UK government’s approach to Brexit. He recently called for a halt to the Brexit process and a national debate in the UK “to think again” about leaving the EU. He described the UK government’s actions since the referendum as “a completely wasted year while the Tories negotiated with themselves”.
Known in Brussels as a wily and effective negotiator, Lord Kerr held senior posts in the UK Treasury as well as the Foreign Office. He was UK ambassador to the EU and the US before taking the top Foreign Office job in 1997. In 2002/3, after retiring as a UK diplomat, he was secretary general to the European Convention, where he drafted the EU exit clause that became Article 50.