Yes of course we’ve known it a long time but good to get some detail as well.
Martin Durkin on Twitter:
It beggars belief that May and her snake-like Remainer civil servants are still in power after Steve Baker’s revelation that they secretly turned down an EU offer of a free trade deal.
Steve Baker MP is a member of the (ardently pro-Brexit) European Research Group. He was also – till he resigned in protest at Mrs May’s handling of the Brexit negotiations – a minister in the government’s Department for Exiting the European Union (DEXU).
Baker made his revelation at the end of last month while appearing before an MP committee, in which he criticised the “governing class” for its deliberate attempts to thwart Brexit in defiance of the Referendum vote.
Baker told the committee hearing: [my bold]
“The entire approach is suffused by a reluctance to deliver what the public wanted, which is us controlling our laws in our parliament with all that that means.
So the relationship between Number 10 [Downing Street] and the DEXU ministers was always one of instinctive tension because I think the DEXU ministers believed overwhelmingly in exiting the European Union.
Whereas, overwhelmingly, the staff of Number 10 seemed not to be people with a heart for it. And I think that that tension suffused the entire process. We were regularly overruled.
For example, after President [of the EU Council] Donald Tusk made his offer of security co-operation, participation in institutions of research, innovation, education and culture, dealing with absurdities – flights we’ve already mentioned, driving licences data and so on, he also made an advanced free trade agreement – all sectors, no tariffs, you know what he offered.
Once he’d made that offer, I was very pleased because it matched the policy which DEXU ministers had decided. And I wanted to start putting it in my speeches.
And one speech in particular, I remember, was edited by Number 10 to remove references to that offer because it was not the offer that the system as a whole wanted.”