Steve Baker claims to have a dream in which he would one day work with Jeffrey Donaldson and the European Research Group of Brexiteer Tories to forge a new relationship with the Irish.
At the conclusion of the joint British-Irish government meeting on Thursday in Dublin, the U.K.’s junior Northern Ireland Office minister stole the show.
Its primary goal was to find a means to restore the political system in Northern Ireland after it was severely harmed by Brexit and the trade protocol that followed, which required EU inspections of British goods entering Northern Ireland ports.
After that, reporters questioned Baker and his boss in the Northern Ireland Office, Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris, about whether they were still working together with Donaldson and the Tory camp of avowed Brexiteers and compromisers behind closed doors in Westminster.
Baker has apologised for wanting a Brexit that didn’t adequately take into account the harm it may inflict to the hard-won political balance in Northern Ireland since entering the No. 2 ministerial position in Belfast.
“Because our relationship is now moving in the right direction. Problems will always arise, but we’ll tackle them together and find solutions.
“I very much hope we will bring the DUP and Euroskeptic MPs to the same positive place in our relations with Ireland,” Baker said in reference to his continuing negotiations with Donaldson and the remnant of Tory ERG ardents.