Brexit TV debate can’t just be May vs Corbyn – leader comment

Nicola Sturgeon should be able to discuss Brexit with other political leaders in the planned TV debate Picture: John Devlin.
Nicola Sturgeon should be able to discuss Brexit with other political leaders in the planned TV debate Picture: John Devlin.
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A landmark TV debate about Brexit cannot simply include Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn as they don’t represent the breadth of opinion on the subject across the UK.

The idea that Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn can effectively debate Brexit is an odd one.

After all, both political leaders are firmly signed up to the ‘Brexit means Brexit’ mantra. Or at least Corbyn appears to be; on this most central issue of our times, it is worryingly hard to tell where exactly he stands. He does oppose May’s deal – insisting a better one can be had, a claim also made by the hard-core Brexiteers – but if elected Prime Minister it appears Corbyn would try to get something vaguely similar out of Brussels, in the short time available to do so after a snap general election.

READ MORE: BBC told Brexit TV debate without Sturgeon ‘dereliction’ of duty

But if the BBC or ITV is to hold a landmark TV debate to thrash out all the issues once and for all, then surely it needs to have a Remain champion like Vince Cable, Nicola Sturgeon to speak for Scotland and others to speak for Northern Ireland and Wales, and someone from the no-deal Brexit camp, as risky as that option might be.

A May-Corbyn squabble over the Brexit deal’s finer details will not inform the public. It will simply be an exchange of rehearsed soundbites, producing nothing but dull-as-ditchwater TV.

READ MORE: Theresa May accepts BBC offer to take part in Brexit TV debate