Leaders of all parties demand involvement in Brexit debate on PM’s deal

The leaders of multiple political parties are demanding they are also invited to any Brexit debates, after reports suggested Theresa May will challenge Jeremy Corbyn to a TV showdown on her deal.

The Labour leader said he would “relish a head to head” with the Prime Minister to discuss the Withdrawal Agreement she brought back from Brussels.

But now the SNP, the Lib Dems, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru say they should also be involved.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “I can’t speak for Jeremy Corbyn, but I’d be up for a full leaders’ debate on the ‘deal’.

“So, how about it PM Theresa May?”

And the SNP’s defence spokesman Stewart McDonald said his party must be included, claiming a debate between Mrs May and Mr Corbyn “would represent the worst type of Westminster carve-up”.

He tweeted: “Any TV debate that takes place on Brexit must include all parties represented in the UK parliament.”

A spokesman for Downing Street refused to confirm whether Number 10 was considering such a debate.

He told reporters on Monday: “The Prime Minister debates the leaders of the opposition parties regularly on Brexit, and will be doing so in effect at 3.30pm today [when she makes her statement to the House of Commons].”

In response Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable demanded to be involved, because neither the Tories nor Labour had called for a second Brexit referendum.

The Greens have also said they must be be included, saying any debate “must be cross-party, featuring a diverse range of voices representing every nation, as well as every stance on this deal and our relationship with the EU”.

And Plaid Cymru’s leader Adam Price tweeted: “People deserve the opportunity to hear from all the different voices on the biggest decision we will make for generations.

“I’m ready to make sure Wales’s voice is heard in any TV debate.”

The PM was accused of “running scared” last year after refusing to appear at any of the TV debates in the run up to the snap General Election.

But she is embarking on a PR blitz this week as she tries to convince the public to back her Brexit deal and put pressure on MPs to support it as it goes to a vote in Parliament.