Brexit supporter Steve Baker and deputy chair of the Conservative Party’s eurosceptic European Research Group has outlined his fundamental issue with the European Union. Mr Baker voted against the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal three times in the House of Commons. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Political Thinking with Nick Robinson, the host asked: “Is it the fear of this creation of a country called Europe which is the key to it?”
Mr Baker replied: “No, this is the fundamental point where we are so often misjudged. The irony of my position is, if there had been a country called Europe created, with the democratic consent of the British people, and it could be seen to be a democracy, I would have voted for that constitution in a referendum.
“I am quite clear about that, I wouldn’t have voted for the Lisbon Treaty in a referendum, nor the constitution for Europe, I would have voted against those.
“But, I would have at least acquiesce in a decision to ascent to it.”
He added: “The reason I am in politics, the proximate cause, for all the other things I care about, is the state, in the sense of the British state and the institutions of the EU, chose to advance its power, positively against the wishes of electors and we were denied our own referendum.
“That’s not okay. That is like a mortal sin it’s just not okay.
“It’s unforgivable that a state should advance positively without the consent of the Government, yes.”
Mr Baker added that the European Union was a “threat” because “it is establishing a constitution for a new nation”
He said: “We dance around this so often, during the referendum campaign we said they were going to establish are forces and people rubbished us. Subsequently, there are plenty of quotes you could dig out which show they do intend that.”
It comes following a turbulent week for the Prime Minister after she agreed to a Brexit extension with the European Union until the end of October.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday, the Prime Minister told MPs it was their “national duty” to agree to a Brexit deal.
She said: “We need to resolve this. So that we can leave the European Union with a deal as soon as possible.
“So that we can avoid having to hold those European Parliamentary elections. And above all, so that we can fulfil the democratic decision of the referendum, deliver Brexit and move our country forward.
“This is our national duty as elected members of this House – and nothing today is more pressing or more vital.”
The Government has also held talks with the Labour Party after the Prime Minister reached out to Jeremy Corbyn last week to help try to deliver Brexit.
Speaking as he came out of the talks on Friday, Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell insisted that a referendum “is always on the table”.
Mr McDonnell said the prospect of a confirmatory public vote at the end of the Brexit process was “raised at each meeting”.
He added: “I am not going to go into the detail of it, we are trying to be as constructive as we possibly can on all sides and be as positive as we possibly can. But, we will see by next week how far we have got.”
The talks have been led by Mrs May’s de facto deputy, David Lidington, and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer.
The Government is still hoping they can get a deal through Parliament in time to avoid the need for Britain to vote in elections to the European Parliament on May 23.