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26th Nov 2018

Theresa May confirms debate against Jeremy Corbyn for 9 December

James Dawson

The prime minister will travel around the country ahead of the vote

Theresa May has confirmed that she is willing to debate Jeremy Corbyn live on TV, two days before parliament meets to decide on her proposed Brexit deal.

The prime minister has penciled in the pair to go head-to-head over the UK’s European Union withdrawal on 9 December, ahead of the final parliamentary vote on the 11 December.

Speaking to The Sun, Theresa May said she would also be “going around the country” over the coming days in order to win support for the agreement that was accepted by EU leaders over the weekend.

She said: “I am going to be explaining why I think this deal is the right deal for the UK – and yes, I am ready to debate it with Jeremy Corbyn. Because I have got a plan. He hasn’t got a plan.”

A spokesperson for the Labour leader already confirmed Corbyn’s intention to take on the PM after her plans leaked on Sunday night, saying: “Jeremy would relish a head-to-head debate with Theresa May about her botched Brexit deal and the future of the country.”

If it goes ahead, it will be the first time the pair have gone toe-to-toe in a US presidential-style debate as May refused to face off against Corbyn ahead of the 2017 general election.

However, the timing of the contest means it could could clash with the finale of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here, usually one of the highest rated TV shows of the year.

May added: “Exactly how it might be done, if he takes it up, would be a matter for the broadcasters to determine.

“What I think is important is that people are able to see the issues around this plan. I am willing to stand up and explain why I think it is the best possible deal available for the UK.”

The prime minister still needs to convince a number of parliamentarians to back her Brexit plan in order to get it through parliament.

At present, Labour, Lib Dem, SNP and DUP politicians are poised to vote against the agreement and over 90 Tory MPs have publicly spoken out against it, meaning it may not receive the required majority for the bill to pass.