Daniel Hannan

Daniel Hannan


  • B.A., Modern History, Oriel College, Oxford. [1]


Daniel Hannan was the Conservative MEP for South East England from 1999 until the UK‘s withdrawal from the EU in January 2020. [2]

Hannan is known for his hardline anti-EU views, having helped found both the European Research Group of Eurosceptic Conservative MPs in the 1990s and the Vote Leave campaign. [3], [4]

He is also the founding president of the Initiative for Free Trade, a thinktank based until 2018 at 57 Tufton Street which promotes “the moral case for open commerce” and has pushed for a UKUS free trade deal post-Brexit. [5], [6], [7], [8]

In February 2020 Hannan was reported to be under consideration to receive a peerage from Boris Johnson and was made a Lord at the end of the year. [25], [26]

Hannan has spoken at events organised by the conservative, climate-science-denying US thinktank, the Heritage Foundation, and has ties to a trans-Atlantic network of groups and individuals spreading climate disinformation and supporting the UK’s exit from the EU and Donald Trump’s presidency. [9], [10]

DeSmog reported in November 2018 that Hannan was working with a number of prominent Brexit supporters to set up a “Museum of Communist Terror” to highlight the crimes and failures of Communist regimes. The group includes Viscount Matt Ridley, an adviser to the climate science denying Global Warming Policy Foundation and Eamonn Butler from the Adam Smith Institute. Chloe Westley, formerly of the TaxPayers’ Alliance and Vote Leave, and a special adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, was previously listed as a Director. [11], [27], [28]

Hannan was president of the Young Britons’ Foundation, a self-described “Conservative madrasa” whose executive director has called global warming “a scam.” The YBF closed in 2016 following the suicide of a young Conservative activist whose father described the organisation as a “cult.” The group had close ties with US conservative organisations such as the Young America’s Foundation. [12], [13], [14]

Hannan is listed on the Companies House website as a director of the free-market Cobden Centre, co-founded by former Brexit minister and European Research Group chairman Steve Baker. [15]

Hannan was also listed as a director of Project Maja from July to August 2015 in Companies House records. The company’s registered address was 55 Tufton Street, the home of many of the UK‘s most prominent free-market thinktanks, including the climate science denial group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Project Maja was dissolved in December 2016 without ever filing accounts or officially declaring its Nature of Business. [16], [17]

In September 2020, Hannan was appointed to the Government’s “Board of Trade,” advising Secretary of State Liz Truss on the negotiation of new agreements with countries such as Australia. [30]

Stance on Climate Change

November 2019

Commenting on Boris Johnson’s decision not to join other British political party leaders for the climate change debate hosted by Channel 4 during the general election, Hannan tweeted: [29]

Boris is quite right to decline Channel 4’s summons. Why the hell should he allow the agenda to be set by people who hate him? [29]

The whole premise of Channel 4’s programme was loaded. Why do a debate just on the climate emergency? Can you imagine them doing a special debate on the ‘illegal immigration emergency’ or the ‘debt emergency’ or the ‘knife crime emergency’?” [29]

December 2015

Hannan told the European parliament in December 2015: [18]

Let’s accept what seems to be the consensus that the world is warming partly as a result of human activity. How we then deal with that is a political rather than a scientific question. And the particular issue is how much we spend on seeking very slightly to mitigate the rise in temperatures with huge sums of money versus adapting with a fractional sum of money. [18]

I look around the world and I see that in Helsinki the mean temperature is about five degrees, in Athens it is about 21 degrees, in Rio it’s about 35 degrees – all support large populations. I think we might just be able to adapt.” [18]

Key Quotes

December 2016

On the outcome of EU referendum, the US election and the implications for trade deals, Hannan told the Heritage Foundation: [19]

There are some crybabies on both sides of the Atlantic who don’t accept the verdict of the people as final […] it’s the slightly spoiled millennials, the generation of the safe spaces and micro-aggressions […] it was entirely in their minds about ‘am I a nice cosmopolitan, outwards-looking person, or am I an evil bigot?’” [19]

Key Actions

October 4 2020

Hannan spoke alongside Liz Truss and Shanker Singham at a fringe Conservative Party Conference event hosted by the US think tank Heritage Foundation. The talk, UK Free Trade After Brexit: The United States and Beyond”, was chaired by Ted Bromund, a research fellow at the Foundation, who told the Party Conference in 2016 that the UK’s climate policy, “exists entirely to make yourself feel good about yourselves”.

Speaking at the online event, Hannan argued that: “forming against us is a coalition of all sorts of people who don’t like trade, don’t like capitalism, who don’t like America (or certainly don’t like Trump’s America) don’t like meat, don’t like the modern market economy.” Hannan continued that “added to them are lots of perfectly well-meaning people, genuinely good, sincere, moderate people, altruistic people, who think that they’re doing their bit to reduce food miles or improve the environment or support our farmers or whatever it is.” [31] [32]

September 4, 2020

Hannan was appointed to the Government’s “Board of Trade,” advising Secretary of State Liz Truss on the negotiation of new agreements with countries such as Australia. [30]

February 23, 2020

Hannan wrote an article for The Telegraph criticising Extinction Rebellion, which he described as a “profoundly illiberal, anti-democratic and misanthropic movement,” and a “medieval religious cult.” [33]

March 1, 2019

Hannan wrote an article in the Washington Examiner criticising the school climate strikes, writing: “The young protesters evidently believe that they are Virtuous People marching against Evil People.” [20]

December 13, 2018

The group of MEPs Hannan leads in the European Parliament was forced to repay €535,000 in EU funds after an investigation found the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe grouping had spent large sums of money on luxury events with little apparent relevance to the EU, The Guardian learned. [21]

November 13, 2018

Hannan founded a campaign to launch a “Museum of Communist Terror,” which, according to its website, aims to “keep alive knowledge and understanding of the deaths, terror and economic failure that took place under Communist regimes, primarily in the 20th century.” Other figures involved in the initiative included Chloe Westley, a former campaign manager for the Taxpayers’ Alliance, Adam Smith Institute Co-Founder Eamonn Butler, and coal baron and climate “lukewarmer” Matt Ridley, who joined the museum as honorary President. [34] [35]

February 2018

The Guardian revealed Hannan’s Initiative for Free Trade had been overseeing “shadow trade talks” with other UK and US libertarian groups, including the Koch-funded Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute, in a drive to remove EU safety standards on food and drugs through a UKUS free trade deal. [22]

September 27, 2017

Hannan launched the Initiative for Free Trade, then called the Institute for Free Trade, at the UK Foreign Office. Trade Secretary Liam Fox and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson both spoke at the launch event. [23]

February 1, 2017

Hannan hosted a conference in Brussels. On the programme were climate science denier and Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) advisor Matt Ridley and Myron Ebell, former head of President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) transition team and director of the libertarian US think tank the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). Climate denier and UKIP MEP Roger Helmer and the GWPF’s director Benny Peiser were also in attendance. [24]

December 2016

Hannan spoke at an event for the anti-regulation US thinktank, the Heritage Foundation. Speaking at the think tank’s offices in Washington D.C., about a post-Brexit USUK trade deal Hannan told the audience: “If it’s good enough on your side of the Atlantic it’s good enough on ours,” adding that “in reality of course the deal is unlikely to be done just by Heritage and me,” drawing laughter from the crowd. [19]

He said: “Our state machines will get their hands into it and they of course will try to make it about everything except trade. They’ll make it about ecological standards, and women’s rights, and child labour, and everything except the free exchange of goods and services, and that’s what opens the door to the corporate capture.” [19]


Social Media


A selection of articles by Hannan, published in The Telegraph and the Washington Examiner, can be found below:


  1. Rachel Sylvester, Alice Thomson. “Daniel Hannan: the Tory Eurosceptic MEP whom Labour loves to hate,” The Times, October 5, 2009. Archived April 1, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/q28Z7
  2. Daniel Hannan,” European Parliament website. Archived April 1, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/jhxAb
  3. Daniel Hannan. “I helped found the ERG – accusations of extremism are ridiculous,” The Telegraph, February 24, 2019. Archived April 3, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/farxr
  4. Rajeev Syal, Jessica Elgot. “Leading Brexiter claims EU citizens in UK will be given voting rights,” The Guardian, October 25, 2008. Archived April 2, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/OfBw5
  5. James Moore. “Daniel Hannan’s Initiative for Free Trade bangs the brexit drum, but who’s paying for the sticks?The Independent, November 21, 2018. Archived April 1, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/r2g4C
  6. IFT LTD: Filing history,” Companies House. Archived April 3, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/htxLK
  7. Homepage,” Initiative for Free Trade. Archived April 2, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/K3U7S
  8. Felicity Lawrence. “Who is behind the push for a post-Brexit free trade deal with the US?The Guardian, December 4, 2018. Archived April 2, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/SQWs3
  9. Brexit and the Opportunities for a Deeper Anglo-American Alliance,” Heritage Foundation, November 7, 2017. Archived April 2, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/e8Rbg. YouTube video uploaded by user “The Heritage Foundation” on November 7, 2017. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  10. Kyla Mandel. “Mapped: New Special Relationship for America and Britain Emerges with Climate Science Deniers Linked to Trump and Brexit,” DeSmog, January 16, 2017.
  11. Chloe Farand. “Senior Vote Leave Members Join Forces to Create a ‘Museum of Communist Terror’ In The UK,” DeSmog, November 13, 2018.
  12. Robert Booth. “‘Tory madrasa’ preaches radical message to would-be MPs,” The Guardian, March 6, 2010. Archived April 2, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/othlj
  13. Christopher Hope. “Right-wing activists’ conference called off in wake of ‘Tatler Tory’ bullying scandal,” The Telegraph, December 7, 2015. Archived April 2, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/HOwFy
  14. Hannah Barnes. “What is the Young Britons’ Foundation?BBC News, December 12, 2015. Archived April 2, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/DUQd2
  15. The Cobden Centre,” Companies House. Archived April 3, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/c8Esf
  16. Project Maja: Officers,” Companies House. Archived April 2, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/IXT0M
  17. Project Maja: Filing History,” Companies House. Archived April 2, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/LuqT9
  18. Global warming: scientists are not always the right experts,” YouTube video uploaded by user “DanHannan” on December 15, 2014. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  19. Millennials, Regulations Hamper Trade Deal Success Brexiteer Tells Climate Denying Heritage Foundation,” DeSmog, December 7, 2016.
  20. Daniel Hannan. “Socialism, the default ideology of teen Manichaeans,” Washington Examiner, March 1, 2019. Archived April 3, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/WUG4n
  21. Jennifer Rankin. “Daniel Hannan’s MEP group told to repay €535,000 in EU funds,” The Guardian, December 13, 2018. Archived April 3, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/8bXsb
  22. Michael Savage. “Revealed: rightwing groups plot to ditch EU safety standards on food and drugs,” The Guardian, February 17, 2018. Archived April 2, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/WKhmI
  23. Mat Hope. “Introducing the Institute for Free Trade: A New Pro-Brexit Thinktank tied to the UK’s Climate Science Denier Network,” DeSmog, September 27, 2017.
  24. Mat Hope. “European Conservatives Shun USUK Climate Science Denier’s Anti-Expert Rhetoric as ‘Incredibly Dangerous’,” DeSmog, February 1, 2017.
  25. Eleanor Langford. “Boris Johnson awards peerages to Tory donors and Brexit supporters,” Politics Home, February 7, 2020. Archived August 31, 2020. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/25xro
  26. Andrew Woodcock. “Boris Johnson gives peerage to ex-MEP who branded Lords ‘inconsequential nobodies’,” Independent, December 22, 2020. Archived December 22, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttps://archive.fo/w36ho
  27. Homepage,” Museum of Communist Terror. Archived September 1, 2020. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/GI96I
  28. Museum of Communist Terror – Company No: 10970407,” Companies House. Archived September 1, 2020. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/gM6C0
  29.  Daniel Hannan. “Channel 4 News has given up any pretence at accuracy, seriousness or responsibly. I won’t appear on it again. Twitter thread by @DanielJHannan, started June 15, 2019. Retrieved from Twitter.com. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.
  30. Tony Abbott: Ex-Australian PM appointed UK trade adviser,” BBC News, September 4, 2020. Archived September 7, 2020. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/1ZAsV
  31. Victoria Seabrook. “Climate Science Denying US Neocon Groups Promote ‘Simple’ and ‘Freer’ Trade with UK at Tory Party Conference,” Desmog, October 5, 2016.
  32. UK Free Trade After Brexit: The United States and Beyond,” YouTube video uploaded by user Think Tent on October 4, 2020. Archived October 6, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/NgFvK 
  33. Daniel Hannan. “The police’s inaction over Extinction Rebellion is criminally disturbing,” The Telegraph, February 23, 2020. Archived February 2, 2021. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/XSYvC 
  34. Museum of Communist Terror,” Museum of Communist Terror. Archived February 9, 2021. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/GI96I 
  35. Chloe Farand. “Senior Vote Leave Members Join Forces to Create a ‘Museum of Communist Terror’ In The UK,” DeSmogUK, November 13, 2018. Archived March 1, 2021. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/n1qup 

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