Should the government let Nigel Farage participate in Brexit talks?
By Joe Harker
The next prime minister might want to reopen Brexit negotiations and ask the EU for alterations to the deal on the table.
Some candidates are standing on a platform of altering Theresa May's deal and the Conservative party is shedding votes to the Brexit Party.
Amidst all this, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage visited Downing Street to deliver a letter demanding a role in the process of leaving the EU.
Someone who thinks the government should listen to Farage's demand is US president Donald Trump.
He thinks sending the Brexit Party leader to Brussels with instructions to push for leaving with no deal is the right way for the UK to go.
To many Farage is the man who made Brexit possible and is the one politician who can be trusted not to compromise or accept something that hardliners consider not to be an actual Brexit.
Many who support leaving the EU believe a deal where the UK still has strong ties to mainland Europe is Brexit in name only (BRINO) and someone like Farage would never agree to it, a politician who genuinely would walk away from the table if he didn't like the offer.
To some this is a strong negotiating tactic to ensure the EU offers more concessions and to others a no deal Brexit is the preferred outcome.
The Counter Claim:
On the other hand, why should any self-respecting government allow a leader of a party with no seats in the Commons a role in the most important issue facing the UK since the Second World War?
Farage is on the trail attempting to spin his Brexit Party's surprise failure in the Peterborough by-election as a success, but the fact is his party was expected to take the seat and they didn't.
Why should Farage take precedence over leaders of any other political party that actually has seats in parliament?
If there is a list of non-government figures to potentially invite to future negotiations then he doesn't deserve to be higher than the leaders of parties that actually have seats.
The next prime minister will dictate what the UK's next steps on Brexit are, bringing Farage into the discussion risks confusion. He won't accept anything he considers too soft, while the hardline candidates for Tory leadership are already offering what he suggests.
What could he have to bring to the table without undermining the prime minister?
Hardline Brexit supporting leadership candidate Andrea Leadsom has said she wouldn't let the Brexit Party into negotiations if she became the next prime minister. Leadsom is one of the tougher candidates on Brexit, if she won't Farage into negotiations then who would?
Besides, the chances that negotiations are going to take place appear slim. The EU has said there will be no more talks, that May's deal is going to be the only one on the table.