COMMENT: Brexit Select Committee should call EU leaders

As Chair of the Exiting the European Union Select Committee, Hilary Benn will rightly play a leading role in Parliament’s scrutiny of the ongoing Brexit negotiations. That role, of course, includes questioning Government Ministers. The national interest will be even better served if the Committee spends much of its time collecting evidence from leading figures on the other side of the Brexit negotiating table – officials and politicians from the EU institutions and other member states. There is plenty of precedent for this as Committees often take most of their evidence from external, not Ministerial, sources – indeed, only last week the Lords’ EU Committee interviewed senior politicians from Ireland. More importantly, a distinct focus on European witnesses would not only provide invaluable insights into what the EU wants from Brexit talks, but would also ensure the Committee does not come to be seen as a final and frustrated redoubt for those who seek to undo the referendum result. 

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