John Bercow has called the Conservative Party’s "Get Brexit done" slogan "arrant nonsense", ahead of the UK's departure from the European Union tomorrow (31 January).
Speaking at the Advertising Association’s Lead summit this morning, the 157th speaker of the House of Commons praised the slogan, but said it was intended as remedy for "Brexit fatigue".
Bercow said: "Let me say unequivocally: ‘Get Brexit done’ was a highly effective slogan and there was an element – maybe but a morsel – of truth in it, in that if the Conservatives got a majority, as they did, they could get phase one of Brexit done.
"More widely, it is manifest arrant nonsense to suppose that Brexit will be ‘got done’ – if I can inelegantly summarise the slogan – simply by withdrawing on 31 January."
Bercow claimed that Boris Johnson's tagline "appealed to people suffering from Brexit fatigue", during a period in which the UK has been named the second-least-trusting in the world (behind Russia), according to research by Edelman.
Also at Lead, Conservative politician Nadhim Zahawi (pictured, above) urged UK advertisers to "sharpen [their] focus on diversity and inclusion", hailing diversity as a "matter of fairness" that agencies have an obligation to address, both socially and from a business perspective.
Deeming Brexit the "start of a new chapter in British history", Zahawi said: "Still, women and people from ethnic minorities remain underrepresented in industry leadership, and the gender pay gap persists.
"The fact that this is broadly in line with comparable sectors does not make it palatable."
Last year, IPA research revealed that 97% of the industry’s advertising and media chief executives are white, while a study conducted by women's networking organisation Bloom UK found that more than half of participants (60%) believed they had faced unfair barriers because of their background, including their gender, sexuality and ethnicity.