Another Tory MP has apologised for the party’s behaviour towards Ireland 8 months ago

Another Tory MP has apologised for the party’s behaviour towards Ireland

They’re practically queuing up at this stage

Following in the footsteps of his party colleague Anna Soubry, Conservative MP Phillip Lee has apologised for the behaviour of the party towards Ireland during the Brexit negotiations.

Phillip Lee, the former justice minister who resigned his post earlier this year over the handling of the Brexit negotiations, spoke to Morning Ireland on Thursday from Westminster and like Soubry the day before, was conciliatory towards Ireland about the conduct of his party in recent years.

When asked whether he agreed with certain politicians that Ireland is a problem, Lee said: "Can I apologise for this? I'm embarrassed that British politicians are being quoted, often anonymously, implying that it is Ireland that's the problem and that Ireland needs to know its place. I most certainly don't think that.

"I think the reality is that people are realising, when you voluntarily choose to leave a club, you can't dictate the terms about having a relationship with that club. Ireland is a part of that club, and quite rightly, the club are trying to make sure that Ireland is secure and that the union is secure.

"The British politicians who think it isn't really do need to wake up."


Lee was in favour of remaining in the European Union before the Brexit referendum and has spoken out recently in favour of a second referendum. Although he opposed Theresa May's original proposal for the withdrawal agreement, he supported May when a vote of no confidence was triggered in the Prime Minister earlier this week.

On Wednesday, Anna Soubry told Morning Ireland she was "embarrassed to call myself a conservative" and in relation to her party’s treatment of Ireland during the Brexit negotiations, she said: "I can only apologise for the atrocious behaviour of my colleagues."

The apologies from Soubry and Lee come after BBC Newsnight Political Editor Nicholas Watt revealed that an unnamed Conservative MP said of the aforementioned Brexit negotiations that: “The Irish should really know their place.”