'Just get a bloody pen!' – Katie Perrior on signing of Article 50

The signing went 'right to the wire' according to our presenter

The signing went 'right to the wire' according to our presenter

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Former Downing Street political advisor Katie Perrior has told Mike Graham about the day Article 50 was signed – and how she had to bark orders at Theresa May to find a pen. 

Perrior had to persuade her colleagues a photo of the Prime Minister signing the document was necessary. “Everyone agreed, we will have a photo of Theresa May signing it in the cabinet room, with an amazing backdrop,” she remembers. 

“I told the media to come around 4pm – and that we’d definitely have it for the six o’ clock news. By twenty past, I’m standing there with these journalists.” 

Perrior says the cabinet were “checking final lines,” and that she had to cut through their delaying. “I walked back in [and said] what is the problem? She [Theresa May] said - I’m just getting a pen, black or blue?

“I said, just get a bloody pen! I actually said something else but I can’t say it on radio.”

Eventually two copies of the document were inked, and one was sent over to Brussels with “a guy who couldn’t be recognised, because you need a ‘wet copy’. The press were already at the Eurostar, waiting for someone recognisable.”

Perrior concluded that “We went right to the wire, that’s always the case in politics – and that’ll be the case in this EU negotiation as well. The final deal will not be struck until about 11pm,” but admitted that she didn’t know what happened to the famous pen.

See the clip below: