New Brexit negotiator Steve Baker said he wants EU to be destroyed

Steve Baker's remarks have generated huge controversy

Steve Baker has been appointed to the Brexit negotiation team (Flickr/SJBaker)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Minister Steve Baker, the newest member of Theresa May's Brexit negotiations team, has been recorded calling for the European Union to be destroyed.

The man was previously head of Leave group Conservatives for Britain and also ran the European Research Group, in support of Brexit.

The Independent said Baker was giving a speech to a right-wing think tank when he said the European Union needs to be “wholly torn down," adding that "UKIP and the Better Off Out campaign lack ambition."

He also said that the EU is an “obstacle” to world peace and called the union “incompatible” with a free society. 

Baker added that the EU “succeeded in raising economic nationalism to a continental scale," whereas it was "meant to defeat economic nationalism."

The speech was filmed by the The Libertarian Alliance in 2010. Conservative MPs are now warning that with Baker in this role, it could hinder the UK's chance of a good Brexit deal.

But a spokesman for Baker has said that now he “supports the Government's position and that is why he was happy to take up a ministerial position.”

In response to the video, a Tory MP told The Independent: “It just reveals what the extreme Brexiteers have been about all along.

“It’s not enough to take the UK out of the EU. They want the entire thing to fall apart."

Keir Starmer, the Shadow Brexit Secretary, added that there isn't a place for the views of Baker in the Department for Exiting the European Union.

He also said: “This poses real questions about [Theresa May's] judgement and the Government’s desire to build the collaborative, cooperative future partnership we need with the EU.”

May is to meet with other European leaders, including Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, on Friday (July 7) at the G20 in Hamburg.