Former WTO director mimes a unicorn behind Iain Duncan-Smith's back

PUBLISHED: 13:58 29 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:51 29 April 2019

Pascal Lamy appears to mimick a unicorn behind Iain Duncan Smith's back. Photograph: BBC.

Pascal Lamy appears to mimick a unicorn behind Iain Duncan Smith's back. Photograph: BBC.


The former director general of the World Trade Organisation Pascal Lamy has criticised Iain Duncan-Smith's "confused" view on Brexit.

Lamy said that the former Conservative leader was guilty of “pie in the sky” thinking and even went as far as mimicking a unicorn behind his back.

The expert made the response in reaction to the Brexiteer's claims that he could solve the Irish border with his own plan.

“The truth is you could get this deal through if the EU and the UK were prepared to agree to the alternative arrangements on the Irish border which allowed you to have no fixed border.

“Now these have been worked through, they have been proposed but the government has never put them to them [the EU]. I spent two hours talking with Mr Barnier the other day, they all know this is where it is going to have to be, because the existing backstop does not work in practice.”

He continued: “The reality is doing this will get the agreement through.”

However expert Lamy politely pointed out that as a former director of WTO and a former EU official he may know a few things more about the matter than the MP.

He told Duncan-Smith: “This notion that exiting the internal market complies with no border in Ireland is pie in the sky.

“With respect I was director general of the WTO for eight years of my life, which has something to do with customs procedures.

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“There is no way that you can exit the internal market without a border.”

Lamy continued to roll his eyes as Iain Duncan-Smith insisted: “I never said it was going to be simple but... it could have been a lot easier.”

The expert told the Brexiteer: “This is a total confusion which, by the way, exists on the Labour side too.”

The video has become a talking point on social media as a stark reminder of just how clueless the leading Brexiteers appear when put up against experts.

Stephen Everson said: “Thus is IDS' understanding of Brexit possibilities perfectly indicated by Pascal Lamy's knowledgeable reaction. The history of Brexit represented by one hand gesture. Complacency generates bewildered ridicule.”

SNP MP Angus MacNeil said: “Pascal Lamy's hand signals on Brexit are best comment yet on crazy Brexit - deserves to go viral and repeated in Commons.”

Journalist Jon Snow tweeted: “How to get Pascal Lamy to giggle: Allow Ian Duncan-Smith to talk borders!”

It is not the first intervention Lamy has made in the Brexit debate.

He previously said that Brexit made “no sense” and compared a no-deal Brexit to “jumping off the cliff without a parachute”.

He said: “What would be the sense of having a regulation for 60 million people when the world is moving to zones who have regulations for 500 million or 600 million people? It makes no sense.”

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