Lord Kerr of Kinlochard, a British peer who has served as an ambassador both to the EU and US and also authored Article 50, said the threat posed by populism was not as large as some commentators have claimed. "I believe that the next French president is Alain Juppé (not Marine Le Pen). I think the next German chancellor is Angela Merkel. I don't think what we've seen is going to sweep across these countries.Más...
In France, far-right party Front National is currently the second-most popular party ahead of May's presidential election, while in Germany, anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) finished ahead of Merkel's Christian Democrats in some regional elections earlier this year.
Lord Kerr added, though, that the recent growth in support for right-wing groups across Europe will likely be short-lived, rather than the start of a shift in political culture across the west.
"It looks as if crises that are in their origin financial are blamed on the establishment and from there there's a kick to the right," he said. "But studies show this initial kick to the right effect fades after five to seven years."
[Inequality] will not be cured by leaving the EU. It will get worse if we leave the EU The Brexit vote, he said, was at least partly a result of Brits feeling ignored by the political establishment and economically left behind.
"But inequality has nothing to do with the EU," he added. "It will not be cured by leaving the EU. It will get worse if we leave the EU."
Also on the subject of Brexit, Lord Kerr said national debate around issues like immigration has become overwhelmed by emotion at the expense of evidence, claiming immigration is needed to keep the country "running."
Lord Kerr was on the panel with former government advisor Rachel Woolf and journalist Professor Daine Roberts to discuss how populism, particularly Trump's shock victory, will change policy-making in western democracies.
Reflecting on Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton, Lord Kerr dismissed the popular theory that the economy and in particular inequality was the primary reason why voters backed the Republican candidate.
"The median income of the Trump voter was a lot higher than that of the Clinton voter. I'm not sure if it was about the economy." he said.
UK needs migration because Britons are 'so bloody stupid', says peer who wrote Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty