Brexit: Corbyn will do BBC debate with May if head-to-head


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Other parties reject the idea of a May-Corbyn head-to-head debate as they want a chance to have their say too

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has accepted Theresa May’s challenge of a TV Brexit debate on the BBC – but only if it is the two leaders head-to-head.

Mr Corbyn had previously claimed he preferred the bid from broadcaster ITV, but Mrs May wanted the BBC to host it.

In a statement on Saturday, the BBC said its proposal includes a one-on-one debate as well as a chance to hear from “a wider range of voices”.

Other parties say they want to be part of any Brexit TV debate.

The BBC’s debate would take part on Sunday 9 December, two days before MPs are due to vote the government’s Brexit deal.

Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP, the DUP and many Tory MPs have said they will vote against the agreement, which has already been agreed between the UK and EU.

Mrs May accepted the BBC’s offer to take part in the debate earlier this week. Mr Corbyn said he preferred ITV’s bid out of “respect” for viewers who wanted to watch the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! final on ITV the same evening.

But in a tweet on Saturday, he said: “Theresa May said she wanted a head to head debate with me on her botched Brexit deal and I am ready to do that.

“ITV have a straightforward plan. If she and her team prefer BBC, she should join me in asking them to arrange an actual head-to-head debate.”

Under the BBC’s plan, the leaders would face questions from a panel of commentators and politicians as well as going head-to-head with each other.

ITV’s proposal is for a simple head-to-head format.

Several parties have said they should be included – including the SNP, Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and Greens.

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Theresa May was criticised for missing a TV debate ahead of the 2017 general election

Although Jeremy Corbyn has suggested Labour believes another referendum is “an option for the future”, but not an option for now, other parties have taken harder lines calling for a public vote on the final Brexit deal.

In a statement, the BBC said: “Our proposal is to broadcast a programme which includes both a head-to-head debate between the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition and also an opportunity to hear from a wider range of voices.

“After all, a broad range of views on this issue is held by the public and by Parliamentarians – from those who want a different form of Brexit to those who want another public vote – and we believe that should be reflected in the debate.”





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