leading Brexit supporter ‘regrets’ damage to EU ties – EURACTIV.com

Leading Brexiteer Steve Baker took an unexpectedly conciliatory stance on Sunday (2 October) when he told Conservative Party delegates that he and other Brexiteers should be careful.“humility” and take their share of responsibility for the damage done to relations with the EU during the Brexit process.

Speaking at the party’s annual conference in Birmingham, Mr Baker, former chairman of the party European Research Groupa hard Brexiteer, said: “I was one of those who acted with perhaps the fiercest determination to get Britain out of the EU, I think we have to be humble in this situation. »

Mr. Baker was recently appointed Secretary of State [« Minister of State » en anglais, ndlr] to Northern Ireland in Liz Truss’s government.

He added: “It is with humility that I want to accept and acknowledge that I and others have not always behaved in ways that have encouraged Ireland and the EU to trust that we accept that they have legitimate interests. Legitimate interests, which we are prepared to respect because they have them. »

“And I’m sad because the relationship with Ireland is not what it should be and we’re going to have to work extremely hard to improve it and I know we will.”he declared.

Sir. Baker said he used Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral earlier this month to personally apologize to Irish ministers.

It is the first time that a British minister has acknowledged the negative consequences of Brexit for relations with Dublin and Brussels.

After prolonged wrangling over the Northern Ireland Protocol and its implementation, the initial climate among Mrs Truss’s ministers proved far more conciliatory than under her predecessor Boris Johnson.

However, the government continues to refuse to carry out customs checks on goods destined for Ireland and remains determined to pass legislation allowing it to unilaterally derogate from the protocol.

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