22/02/2017 09:35 GMT

Article 50 Author Lord Kerr Warns Brexit Will Only Benefit 'Bullingdon Boys'

'The country is still in the dark.'

The British peer who devised Article 50 - the formal procedure for leaving the EU - has warned Brexit risks hurting the poor while protecting the rich “Bullingdon boys”.

Lord Kerr said the country was still “in the dark” about what Theresa May’s plan for Britain outside the EU was.

“It is a fact that if we leave the European Union, our economic relationship with it will be less advantageous than it is now—that has to be a fact,” he told the House of Lords last night.

Lord Kerr said it was clear the prime minister had “decided to put our autarchic sovereignty ahead of economic well-being.

“It is a sad fact that it will not be those who got us into this fix who will suffer. The Bullingdon boys will be just fine; the country may not.”

Lord Kerr was speaking as peers debated the the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill which, when passed, will allow May to trigger Article 50 and begin exit negotiations with Brussels.

The former Foreign Office diplomat helped draft the EU’s Lisbon Treaty which includes the exit clause.

He added last night: “The country is still in the dark; it does not know where it is going. We are in this bus heading for Heathrow, with mendacious slogans on the side, and we have no idea what the destination is.”

Today, Brexit secretary David Davis has said the UK is not about to “suddenly shut the door” on low-skilled EU migrants.

He warned it would take “years and years” for British workers to be in a position to take jobs now done by people from other member states.

“In the hospitality sector, hotels and restaurants, in the social care sector, working in agriculture, it will take time - it will be years and years before we get British citizens to do those jobs,” he said.

“Don’t expect just because we’re changing who makes the decision on the policy, the door will suddenly shut: it won’t,” Bloomberg reported Davis as saying in the Estonian capital Tallinn.