JOHN BERCOW has described Brexit as ‘the biggest foreign policy mistake in history’ in his first public appearance since stepping down as Commons speaker.
Giving away one of the worst kept ‘secrets’ in parliament, Mr Bercow confirmed what most politicians believed to be his stance on the issue by saying the UK would be better off staying in the EU.
He added, for good measure, that he expected the matter to drag on for more than a decade, in comments made during a talk to the Foreign Press Association.
The position of speaker is supposed to be strictly impartial but critics frequently accused Mr Bercow of being biased against the government.
Boris Johnson accused the former Conservative MP of ‘peppering every part of the chamber with your own thoughts and opinions’ when he bowed out from the role last week.
Mr Bercow also faced calls to quit last year over his alleged partisan behaviour when a ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ sticker was spotted on his car — although he claimed the vehicle belonged to his wife Sally.
But he insisted he had been balanced, saying yesterday: ‘I always treated the Brexiteers in a fair way and I always treated the Remainers in a fair way. And I will assert to anybody until my dying day that I have been impartial.’
But he added: ‘I’m no longer the speaker, I don’t have to remain impartial now, and if you ask me do I think that Brexit is good for our global standing, the honest answer is no, I don’t.’