Top Tory Brexiteer Steve Baker: Make ‘Nuclear Weapon’ Farage Britain’s EU Commissioner


Steve Baker, the former Brexit minister who leads the European Research Group (ERG) of Tory Leavers in Parliament, has suggested Britain appoint Nigel Farage as its next European Commissioner.

Speaking to Telegraph chief political correspondent Christopher Hope on his Brexit podcast, Baker said his sympathy for the veteran campaigner has “dramatically increased” as he has begun to experience the same sort of smears which have been levelled at the Brexit Party leaer for years, if not decades.

“The more I am demonised the more I realise that Nigel Farage has made mistakes… but he has paid a very high price to keep flying the flag in an uncompromising way. He has earned my respect,” Baker said — but added that he did not think the former UKIP supremo would “ever earn the respect of the Establishment” he has caused so much trouble for.

Indeed, with the current term of the Jean-Claude Juncker-led European Commission — part unelected executive, part legislator, part enforcer for the European Union — due to expire on October 31st, when Britain is supposed to finally leave the bloc, Baker now believes Boris Johnson’s government should put Farage forward as its next Commissioner if Remain MPs succeed in delaying Britain’s exit deadline yet again.

“I don’t think we should leave ourselves in a position where we don’t appoint a Commissioner. I think we should appoint a Commissioner. I think we should appoint somebody with about 20 years’ experience, we should appoint somebody who is incredibly well known throughout the institutions. Somebody who will be absolutely relied upon at all times to support our exit from the European Union,” he teased.

“And therefore I unashamedly back Nigel Farage to be our next EU Commissioner in the unfortunate event that it transpires — though I think it unlikely — that we have to remain in [the EU for longer].”

Baker joked that the idea was “inspired by the film Armageddon” starring Bruce Willis, recalling scenes where the protagonists “are trying to save the world and so what they do is they land on the asteroid and they put a nuclear weapon into the heart of the asteroid.”

“Nigel Farage is that nuclear weapon.”

Britain’s current European Commissioner, career bureaucrat Sir Julian King, has proven less than supportive of the British government, chastising Prime Minister Boris Johnson as “crass and dangerous” with reference to “extreme language” — criticism he did not make of the European Parliament’s representative in the Brexit negotiations, for example, when he suggested Johnson and two other prominent Tory Brexiteers, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Michael Gove, could end up “on the guillotine”.

Baker’s dream of Commissioner Farage could run into difficulty, however, insofar as the European Commission’s incumbent president Jean-Claude Juncker has already revealed that he can and has blocked the appointment of many proposed Commissioners who in his view promoted “foolish nationalism”.

European Commissioners also have to be approved by the European Parliament, which includes such figures as the aforementioned “guillotine” Brexit negoitiator, Guy Verhofstadt.

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