A minister at the Department for Exiting the European Union has used his social media account (see attached image) to endorse the view that the European Research Group - a hardline pro-Brexit faction in the Conservative Party - has taken over the department.
Commenting, Francis Grove White, deputy director of the Open Britain campaign:
“Theresa May’s botched reshuffle represented another shift towards support for an extreme Brexit.
“Steve Baker, the former chair of the highly influential European Research Group has now been joined in the Brexit department by his successor, Suella Fernandes. Ms Fernandes believes it would be “great” if we crashed out of the EU with no deal, and is so far to the right on Brexit she’s in danger of falling into the North Sea.
“Last night I tweeted that Mr Baker and Ms Fernandes’ project of taking over Government Brexit policy and pushing for the hardest of Brexits is coming true. He promptly ‘liked’ it. He knows what the Prime Minister is too weak to admit – that the Brextremists have taken over.”
Notes to editors
Further details of Mr Baker's and Ms Fernandes's views on Europe can be seen below:
“I think Ukip and the Better Off Out campaign lack ambition. I think the European Union needs to be wholly torn down…If we wish to devolve power to the lowest possible level, make it accountable and move on into a free society, then it’s clearly incompatible.”
“The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, on the other hand, is much flabbier, covering everything from biomedicine and eugenics to personal data and collective bargaining. Lawyers will love the extra layers of rights and the fees that they bring, and it’s also a core part of the Brussels project too…the Charter is wrong for Britain.”
“In the event of no deal that’s great as well for us.”
Interestingly, Ms Fernandes said this at the beginning of the EU referendum campaign (in an article setting out why she supported Vote Leave)…
“Membership of a political union at this uncertain time is reassuring, and access to the single market brings considerable economic benefits. I have personally benefitted from free movement of workers, having lived in France for two years, as an ERASMUS student and then as an Entente Cordiale Scholar at the Sorbonne.”
She then does go on to say…
“Whilst the single market has many benefits, I do not accept that these require us to remain a member of the EU at any cost.”
She also talks about cutting regulations…
“Our businesses too would be liberated from costly red tape and regulation.”