Steve Baker apologises to EU for ‘not always behaving’ during Brexit

The Northern Ireland minister was a vocal supporter of the Leave campaign

iSteve Baker has apologised to the European Union for 'not always behaving' during Brexit negotiations.

The Northern Ireland minister was a vocal supporter of the Leave campaign as well as being a former chairman of the European Research Group, consisting of backbench Tory MPs.

Baker was famously one of the 28 Tories who voted against Theresa May's Brexit deal on all three occasions, then resigning as Brexit minister in 2018 over concerns the UK was making too many compromises to the EU.

However, on Sunday at the Conservative Party Conference, Baker said that relations between Britain and Ireland were not 'where they should be'.

He continued 'As one of the people who perhaps acted with the most ferocious determination to get out of the EU; I think we have to bring some humility to this situation.

It is with humility that i want to accept and acknowledge that i and others did not always behave in a way which encourage Ireland and the EU to trust us, to accept that they have legitimate interests that we are willing to respect.

Because they do and we are willing to respect them, and i am sorry about that, because relations with Ireland are not where they should be and we all need to work extremely hard to improve that and I know that we are doing so'.

Britain's relations with Brussels and Dublin have been stretched over the Northern Ireland Protocol, which Truss' government has blamed for challenges with trade.

Truss had brought forward legislation when she was Foreign Secretary to allow the unilateral suspension of parts of the Protocol, but has always insisted her preference would be a deal with the EU to remove the challenging parts of the agreement.

Chris Heaton-Harris, the Northern Ireland Secretary, said he had “learnt a lot in the last few years about the delicate political and trade impasse”.