John Kerr

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Person.png Lord Kerr   PowerbaseRdf-icon.png
(diplomat, businessman)
John Kerr.jpg
Born1942-02-22
Grantown-on-Spey, Scotland, United Kingdom
NationalityBritish
Member ofBilderberg/Steering committee, Königswinter Conference/Speakers

Not to be confused with the John Kerr whom the CIA termed "our man Kerr" in the Australia/1975 coup d'état.

John Olav Kerr, Baron Kerr of Kinlochard is a Scottish politician and former diplomat, now Deputy Chairman of Scottish Power and a crossbench member of the House of Lords. He was a member of the Convention on the Future of Europe that first drafted what became Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which came into force in December 2009.[1]

Diplomat

John Kerr was British Representative to the European Union from 1990 to 1995, then British Ambassador to the United States until 1997.

He joined the Foreign Office in 1966 and was posted as Third later Second Secretary to Moscow in 1967; Second Secretary (Econ) Rawalpindi/Islamabad 1969; First Secretary 1971; FCO 1972; Private Secretary to the PUS 1974; Counsellor and Head of DM Division HM Treasury 1979; PPS to the Chancellor of the Exchequer 1981; Counsellor and Head of Chancery Washington 1984.[2]

Brexit is reversible

In November 2017 on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, Lord Kerr said the EU treaty allows the UK to change its mind up to moment of leaving:

“At any stage we can change our minds if we want to, and if we did we know that our partners would actually be very pleased indeed. The Brexiters create the impression that is because of the way Article 50 is written that having sent in a letter on 29 March 2017 we must leave automatically on 29 March 2019 at the latest. That is not true. It is misleading to suggest that a decision that we are taking autonomously in this country about the timing of our departure, we are required to take by a provision of EU treaty law.”

Kerr was asked to clarify whether the UK could still halt Brexit even if a date was set on the face of the EU Withdrawal Bill:

“That’s what I’m saying, one should bear in mind that it is always possible at a later stage to decide that we want to do something different. It is entirely up to the Prime Minister to set a date for our departure. My point is quite a different one. These decisions are taken entirely in this country, they have nothing to do with the treaty. As far as the treaty is concerned there are lots of options. There is a provision to seek some extra time for negotiation and, much more important, there’s the ability at any stage to take back the letter that the Prime Minister sent to President Tusk on 29 March 2017."

Kerr was asked about David Davis’s view that the EU Referendum result was an “irrevocable moment”. He replied:

“The David Davis quote I would offer you comes from 2012 when he said:
‘A democracy that has lost the right to change its mind has ceased to be a democracy.’
“I’m not a politician. I’m just the guy who wrote the treaty telling you what the treaty means.”

Kerr claimed that circumstances had changed since the referendum:

“It is open to us to argue that the terms as they emerge are not quite the ones that we were led to expect: that the costs of coming out are rather different from what it said on the side of the battlebus; that the complexity of coming out was not entirely explained and the effects of coming out on, for example, the NHS or jobs, these things are not what the electorate knew about at the time. If new facts emerge one is entitled to change one’s view, as Keynes said. I’m not today arguing for a second referendum, I’m saying if we wanted to have a second referendum there is nothing in the treaty, or in the attitude of EU partners, that would prevent us taking the time to have one.”[3]

Connections

John Kerr is a member of the Bilderberg Steering Committee.

22 February 1942| 

Events Participated in

EventStartEndLocation(s)Description
Bilderberg/20043 June 20046 June 2004Italy
Stresa
Bilderberg/20055 May 20058 May 2005Germany
Rottach-Egern
Bilderberg/20068 June 200611 June 2006Canada
Ottawa
Bilderberg/200731 May 20073 June 2007Turkey
Istanbul
Bilderberg/20085 June 20088 June 2008US
Virginia
Chantilly
Bilderberg/200914 May 200917 May 2009Greece
Vouliagmeni
Bilderberg/20103 June 20106 June 2010Spain
Hotel Dolce Sitges
Barcelona
Bilderberg/20119 June 201112 June 2011Switzerland
Hotel Suvretta
St. Moritz
Bilderberg/201231 May 20123 June 2012US
Virginia
Chantilly
Bilderberg/20136 June 20139 June 2013Watford
UK
The 2013 Bilderberg group meeting.
Bilderberg/201429 May 20141 June 2014Denmark
Copenhagen
Marriott Hotel
Bilderberg/201511 June 201514 June 2015Austria
Telfs-Buchen
Bilderberg/20169 June 201612 June 2016Germany
Dresden
Details of agenda and participants in the 2016 Bilderberg group meeting in Dresden, Germany with an introduction by Tony Gosling


References

  1. "The Treaty of Lisbon fact sheet" (PDF).Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
  2. The Diplomatic Service List (1989), page 226
  3. "Brexit is reversible even after date is set, says author of Article 50"