Search icon


25th Nov 2018

Theresa May wants TV debate with Jeremy Corbyn over her Brexit deal

James Dawson

The parliamentary vote on Britain’s EU withdrawal deal is set for 12 December

Theresa May will challenge Jeremy Corbyn to a TV debate over her Brexit deal as she looks for public and parliamentary backing for her EU exit plan, it is reported.

As part of a 17-day campaign to save her Brexit agreement, it is believed that the prime minister will tour the country making the case for leaving the European Union on the terms accepted by leaders across the continent. The parliamentary vote on the deal will be held around 12 December.

May hopes that the showpiece of her campaign will be a televised US-style debate with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Telegraph reports. If Corbyn refuses to debate her, then May will push for a Question Time-style question and answer session with members of the public to make the case for her agreement.

The push for a public debate comes despite the prime minister refusing to take part in televised debates prior to the 2017 general election, instead sending then home secretary Amber Rudd in her place.

On Sunday,  27 EU leaders gave the proposals their blessing after 20 months of negotiations, with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker warning that no other offer would be available if MPs vote the agreement down when it comes before parliament.

However,  with Labour, Lib Dem, SNP and DUP MPs poised to vote against Britain’s proposed exit terms and over 90 Tory MPs having publicly spoken out against it, the prime minister faces an uphill battle to push the deal through parliament.

Speaking during a Radio 5Live interview on Friday, May made the case for the deal, describing it as one that “works for the UK” as well as warning MPs against voting down her proposals in parliament as it would create “more division and uncertainty”.

She said: “I believe if we were to go back to the European Union and say: Well people didn’t like that deal, can we have another one? … I don’t think they’re going to come to us and say: We’ll give you a better deal.”

She added: “In parliament, there’s a lot of focus on who’s going to vote for the deal or not, and outside I think people are thinking: Actually, let’s make sure we can get this through and get on with delivering.

“If this deal doesn’t go through we are back at square one.”