Readers on potential solutions to conducting Brexit negotiations. Could a cross-party group of MPs, Keir Starmer, Yanis Varoufakis or business leaders play a role?
Your leading article rightly stresses the importance of rethinking the approach to Brexit, but considers the outcome rather than the political mechanism (The voters have called for a different Britain. Business as usual is not an option, 10 June). Under the present system, a change in government during negotiations would be chaotic. Brexit negotiations will be extremely complex and their outcome will be critical for the long-term future of the country and all UK citizens. Brexit was not a party political matter and the idea that the negotiations should be left primarily to representatives of one wing of a party lacking a majority, overseen by a discredited prime minister, is a recipe for disaster. Somehow control should be restored to the House of Commons as a whole. A motion in the Commons proposing that the negotiations should be led by a non-political civil servant familiar with the intricacies of Brussels, reporting to a small cross-party group, would stand a good chance of cross-party support. It would separate the issue of Brexit from the infighting that is racking the Conservative party, now dependent on the DUP for its position in government. It would require compromises from the parties, but in this politically extremely unstable time compromise is essential in the national interest.
• Theresa May has not obtained the mandate for Brexit she was seeking and it is now surely pertinent to question the Tories’ right to sole ownership of negotiations with the EU. It would be far more in keeping with variable public opinion for this process to be overseen by a cross-party group of MPs (its numbers proportional to the size of each party, perhaps). This would ensure parliament’s involvement from the outset and with all subsequent stages – a topic that has much exercised MPs and the public, who rightly fear exclusion for their representatives under the present proposals. This is far too important a process to be decided within the narrow confines of one party. Is it too much to hope that our elected representatives will grasp the opportunity now presented to them and exercise the sovereignty of parliament for the sake of all our futures?