Brexit Article 50 creator to be keynote speaker at Insider and Scotland Is Now Top 500 Business Breakfast

November 13, 2018 in News by RBN Staff




John Kerr, Baron Kerr of Kinlochard, was key to development of the EU and ‘didn’t think’ the UK would ever use what he set up

By Ken Symon

As Brexit unfolds, come along and hear from the man who wrote Article 50.

John Kerr, Baron Kerr of Kinlochard is to be the keynote speaker at the Insider and Scotland Is Now Top 500 Business Breakfast early in the New Year.

Kerr, as a crossbench or independent peer is right at the heart of the parliamentary debate on Brexit as it goes through the machinery of government.

He has said: “I don’t feel guilty about inventing the mechanism. I feel very sad about the UK using it. I didn’t think that the United Kingdom would use it.”

Former diplomat Kerr has been key to the development of the EU over many years first as British Representative to the EU at the time of John Major’s Government.

As Secretary-General of the European Convention he drafted Article 50, the procedure under which the UK is leaving the EU.

He was Permanent Under Secretary to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the time of Tony Blair’s Government before becoming an independent peer in the House of Lords in 2004.

His business career has been as a director of Shell and then chairing the group of directors who brought about the creation of Royal Dutch Shell plc in 2005. He was deputy chairman and senior independent director of the company until 2012.

He was a director of Rio Tinto Zinc from 2003 to 2015.

He has been a director of the Scottish American Investment Trust since 2002 and of ScottishPower since 2009. He became deputy chairman of ScottishPower in 2012.

He is chairman of the Centre for European Reform and a member of the Executive Committee of the Trilateral Commission.

The Top 500 Business Breakfast takes place at the Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa on Friday 11 January.

At the event Insider’s Top 500 index will be unveiled – the most authoritative listing of Scotland’s biggest and most successful companies.

Cat Leaver, Director of Brand Scotland says: “Scotland Is Now represents a confident, consistent approach to collaborative global marketing to accelerate international growth and build a positive and meaningful story and identity for Scotland.

“Working with Business Insider and the Top 500 provides a great opportunity to harness the talent, skills and networks of the private sector to help promote Scotland as a leading nation to visit, live, work, study and do business with.”

The audience will have the opportunity to question the keynote speaker and panel members to tease out what the wider economic trends mean for their sector and business.

Baron Kerr will be joined by a panel of business leaders to discuss from their own vantage points the trends in the economy and the continuing effects of the Brexit vote and growing impacts of new technology across most business sectors.

Members of the panel will be announced in due course.