THERE IS every likelihood that Prime Minister’s Questions will be another exercise in futility this lunchtime when Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn makes six pre-scripted points – and Theresa May replies with responses pre-planned by her aides.
Yet, given the extent to which this setpiece Parliamentary occasion has become diminished because of its predictability, and discourtesy shown by many MPs towards their opponents, the Prime Minister and Opposition leader should now take part in a TV debate on the EU Withdrawal Agreement.
Mrs May’s deal with the European Union is fundamental to this country’s future and its repercussions for the wider economy are just as profound as the political – and probable constitutional crisis – that will follow if, as expected, it is voted down by MPs on December 11.
However this totemic issue is not about those self-obsessed MPs on both sides who have become so fixated with their own ideological interests that they have forgotten that they were tasked by the public in the 2016 referendum, and last year’s election when both the Tory and Labour manifestoes backed the implementation of Brexit, to get on with the job.
It’s about the people of the United Kingdom and all those families, and businesses, whose futures are now in limbo because of the political uncertainty. Westminster’s partisanship invariably means that the questions most pertinent to their livelihoods are not always asked by MPs – or answered by Ministers – and voters deserve better.
For, not only should they have a right to cross-examine Mrs May’s deal, but there’s also an urgent need to scrutinise Mr Corbyn’s strategy – Tory infighting masks Labour’s own splits – or the consequences of a no deal Brexit given today’s Public Accounts Committee report which castigates the Department for Transport for not coming up with a plan to keep the ports open.