John Bercow: 'Brexit is the most colossal foreign policy blunder post war'

8 January 2021, 13:10 | Updated: 8 January 2021, 13:24

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Former speaker John Bercow has told LBC that Brexit "is the most colossal foreign policy blunder of the post-war period".

Speaking on Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, the ex-parliamentarian said he hoped to be wrong about Britain leaving the European Union but that he still needs convincing.

Knowing Mr Bercow's views on the matter, Nick quipped that the UK was "going to be okay aren't we John?" after successfully striking a deal with the bloc.

"I hope so, but I think it's very early days and I'm not yet convinced," the former speaker replied.

"You would think me a very strange character indeed, Nick, if I suddenly turned tail and said 'Oh, I think Brexit's an absolutely marvellous idea'," he continued, before the LBC presenter said, "It would be a hell of a story John."

Mr Bercow then responded: "My own personal view is that Brexit is the most colossal foreign policy blunder of the post-war period".

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John Bercow gave Nick his damning take on Brexit
John Bercow gave Nick his damning take on Brexit. Picture: LBC

However, Nick quickly pulled the former parliamentarian up on this, saying: "But Boris has pulled it off John, he got his deal."

The ex-speaker conceded that the prime minister did strike an agreement which is "much better than having an ejection from the Union with No Deal", but he branded it a "thin, skeletal deal".

He added that there are an "enormous number of matters" still needing to be debated and negotiated "potentially for months, or even years", while warning that the agreement with the EU does not cover services "which are such an important part of the UK economy".

Mr Bercow continued: "I hope that it's better than I fear, but my fear is that we will be poorer, more insecure and less influential in the world than if we had remained part of the Union."

"I do hope I'm wrong in the interests of the United Kingdom but it's very early days," he added.

"It's far too early, Nick, for you to pat yourself on the back, which I'm sure you wouldn't want to do, and to say 'I Nick Ferrari was right about Brexit'.

"You're entitled to your opinion, but in my opinion, you suffer from the material disadvantage of being completely wrong."