Ex-Brexit Minister Slams May: Establishment ‘Don’t Want to Leave EU’, Exit Plan Led by ‘Fear and Supplication’

Steve Baker MP, who resigned from the Department for Exiting the European Union shortly after Secretary of State David Davis, has slammed Theresa May’s ultra-soft Brexit plan and the Remainer establishment.

BBC presenter Jo Coburn asked the former Minister of State if it was true he had been left “out of the loop” and that his department was “basically marginalised in [the negotiation] process” on the Daily Politics programme in the aftermath of Davis’s resignation.

“There’s no way of getting around it, yes,” admitted Baker.

It has been common knowledge that Remain-supporting Theresa May and her main Brexit adviser, unelected bureaucrat and Soviet Union admirer Olly Robbins, have increasingly undercut and overruled the Department for Exiting the European Union, headed by Brexit supporter David Davis until the Prime Minister’s ultra-soft Brexit plan forced him to walk away from her administration.

Baker stopped short of accusing the Prime Minister of not wanting to leave the EU — although she has refused to say she would vote for Brexit if there was a second referendum multiple times — but was clear that “the establishment” has yet to accept that the people’s decision to leave the bloc was final.

“The reality here is that leaving the European Union is a very difficult process; one of the issues is that… the establishment in this country does not want to leave the European Union,” he said.

“We’ve made a series of mistakes [in the negotiations]. The establishment doesn’t want to leave… it’s no good going forward with a recalcitrant spirit of fear and supplication as we negotiate; instead of doing things because we must, because we’re forced, or because we ought, we need to positively choose to leave the European Union,” he added.

On the subject of the Cabinet away day at Chequers — where the ‘Soft Brexit’ plan was imposed — Baker revealed Brexiteers had been angered by May’s team briefing that ministers would have their phones confiscated during the meeting, and threatened with having their ministerial cars withdrawn and being forced to walk up the countryside retreat’s mile-long driveway for a cab if they resigned.

“I was absolutely furious at the childish nonsense being issued by Number 10 [Downing Street], absolutely unequal to the task at hand — frankly, I was furious; I could almost have resigned just over the childishness of that briefing,” he exploded, after an otherwise very measured exchange with Coburn.

“We are in a position where when the history of the last ten years is written, and the summaries are read, the summaries will show that this was a profound crisis of political economy, both in the financial system and in the politics of Europe, and it will become obvious that what we need today is great statesmanship, the like of which few people are equal [to],” he said.

“What we don’t need is childish briefing against colleagues… I am absolutely furious about it, but was it enough to take me out of Government [by itself]? No, certainly not.”

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