What some prominent anti-Brexiteers really think about Britain

It is doubtful if any country in history has been the subject of such denigration by its establishment of expensively educated people as has Britain.

The latest example is Sir John Kerr[1] (born 1942), Baron Kerr of Kinlochard, Life Peer (2004- ). He joined the Diplomatic Service in 1966 from Pembroke College, Oxford (History), became UK permanent representative to the European Commission 1990-95, then, the pinnacle of his career, head of the diplomatic service 1997-2002, GCMG. There then followed the usual wide selection of standard establishment posts – director of this, chairman of that, including deputy chairman of Royal Dutch Shell plc (2005-2012) the world’s second largest oil and gas company, after Exxon-Mobil! Kerr is chairman (2008- ) of the Centre for European Reforms (CER), whose first director (1996) was Chares Grant, previously of the Economist. While not uncritical of the EU, the CER is fundamentally in favour of European Integration and strongly anti-Brexit.

Besides his role in the CER, Kerr has served on the EU Select Committee of the House of Lords, where he has maintained that the UK activation of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is not irrevocable, that the UK could and should change its mind about leaving right up to the end of the two-year period on 29th March 2019.

One of Kerr’s most memorable dicta reported from an event organised by the Institute for Government in 2016 was,

“In my view, immigration is the thing that keeps this country running. Native Britons (Kerr is a Scot) are so bloody stupid that we need an injection of intelligent people from outside who come in and wake us up from time to time”.

In response to these remarks, Peter Lilley MP walked out, saying he was considering reporting the peer to the police for “hate speech and being racially abusive of the British people[2].

Here is an individual who has had a full measure of all the senior appointments which British society can bestow on any of its citizens. He repays us with this grievous insult and a determination to make life as difficult as possible along the new path the British people have elected to go, as profound a change from our EU past as the one Henry VIII chose when he broke the grip of the Roman Catholic Church in 1534.

Besides all the changes to industry and trade we shall make after Brexit, the British must somehow devise systems so that people with John Kerr’s opinions of them never again rise to the top of the governing tree.


[1] Not to be confused with Sir John Kerr (1914-91), also GCMG, 18th Governor-General of Australia, who dismissed the Prime Minister Gough Whitlam on November 11th 1975.

[2] Reported in the Independent Newspaper on 18th November 2016.

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