'We are putting the clock back 50 years' - Ken Clarke says no-deal Brexit 'worse than Covid'

Ken Clarke in the House of Commons. Photograph: Parliament TV.

Ken Clarke in the House of Commons. Photograph: Parliament TV. - Credit: Archant

Former Tory chancellor Ken Clarke has said that Brexit will put the country back by 50 years and a no-deal scenario will have worse economic effects than Covid-19.

Speaking on the World at One on BBC Radio 4, Clarke said that he accepts the UK is leaving the EU and that his comments were not aimed at trying to reverse a decision that has already been taken.

But he highlighted that Boris Johnson won the general election of 2019 based on the slogan 'Get Brexit Done' coupled with weak opposition leadership from Jeremy Corbyn.

He said Johnson's success was based upon people in general, even politically aware ones, not understanding the political intricacies of Brexit.

He explained: We are effectively putting the clock back 50 years, and going back to the days when you need an international driving license and a green card, you won’t get free healthcare and your insurance will cost you more.


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The economic problems that we could face mid term in this parliament and beyond are going to make it very difficult for Boris Johnson to avoid mid term unpopularity.

A 'no-deal Brexit' will cause far more damage to the British economy than even covid has done."

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Taking to social media, Clive Davies thanked the brexitidiots tweeting: "Ken Clarke on @bbcworldatone - 'We're effectively putting the clock back 50 years - A No deal brexit will cause far more harm than covid has ever done'. Thanks #brexidiots."

Many others such as Jerry Hicks believe Ken Clarke predicted a year ago in the House of Commons that the UK would hurtle towards no deal.

He tweeted: "More than a year ago Ken Clarke saw into the future."

In the clip from 2019, Clarke says Johnson's intention all along were to set the right conditions for a no-deal Brexit scenario and to attach as much blame onto the EU as possible.

Clarke also says Johnson called the general election before the effects of a no-deal Brexit were felt by the general population.

This was a sentiment reflected by Clarke today when he commented: "I fear because of the complexity of it all quite a large part of the British population including some politically aware people are almost switched off from the tedious details of these negotiations.

"People just want Brexit done now, they are bored with it all."

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