Wycombe MP Steve Baker has taken another step in his eurosceptic journey through Westminster after helping form a cross-party group in Parliament "exploring" a referendum ‘out’ campaign.
The rebel MP, who co-chairs the eurosceptic Conservatives For Britain group and voted against the government on a recent EU ballot, now sits on a seven-strong “exploratory committee” assessing options ahead of the in-out vote.
The panel is believed to contain three Tories including former Cabinet member Owen Paterson, three Labour MPs and Ukip’s sole parliamentarian Douglas Carswell.
It is now possible the group will form the basis of the “no” campaign in the run-up to the national vote, which will take place before the end of 2017.
In its launch statement, the group said: “There must be reform of the EU and fundamental change in our relationship with the EU.
“The prime minister set this objective when he described the renegotiation in his Commons statement of March 23 as ‘an opportunity to reform the EU and fundamentally change Britain’s relationship with it’.
“However, there is little if any indication that the government is even asking for significant reform or fundamental change.”
It marks a change of stance from Mr Baker’s initial comments when he broke cover on his feelings over Britain’s role in the EU earlier this month.
Initially, the MP said he was hopeful David Cameron would be able to secure the raft of changes needed to satisfy his party.
But as the days go on, the language from groups such as this new cross-party committee point towards a concerted campaign against whatever concessions the prime minister is able to achieve.