Although there is no settlement on the table, the minister for the Northern Ireland Office reiterated that all parties are eager to come to a resolution.
In order to authorise funding for public services in Northern Ireland for the fiscal years ending March 31 2023 and 2024 in the absence of a functioning devolved Northern Ireland Assembly and executive, MPs approved all Commons stages of the Northern Ireland Budget Bill at the time that Mr Baker made his remarks.
The House of Lords will review the Bill once again in the future.
“I have to say to people watching this, right now, today there is no deal on the table, there is a large gap to be bridged and we are working intensively to do just that,” the MP stated.
“We simply must make progress on the protocol”, Mr Baker added, adding that he believed the conversation “will be heard in the EU.”
The DUP’s leader, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, said that his party will not stand by and let Northern Ireland to be treated like “an EU colony” as DUP members spoke out against the protocol.
The DUP’s Ian Paisley said, “two years since the protocol came into effect and the Government has still failed to fix the problem of the protocol.”
“The budget will pass this House tonight, but very soon the constitutional no man’s land must come to an end.”
Peter Kyle, the shadow secretary for Northern Ireland, declared: “It’s (the Bill) needed to allow public services to function in Northern Ireland and we on this side will not oppose it.”
In order to break the impasse over obtaining a Brexit withdrawal deal, the UK and EU came to an agreement on the protocol in 2019.