Boris Johnson says May and Corbyn debate lacks a Brexiteer

PUBLISHED: 17:55 27 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:55 27 November 2018

Boris Johnson (right) speaks alongside (from left to centre) Priti Patel, Kate Hoey and Michael Gove at a Vote Leave campaign event. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski.

Boris Johnson (right) speaks alongside (from left to centre) Priti Patel, Kate Hoey and Michael Gove at a Vote Leave campaign event. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski.

PA Archive/PA Images

Boris Johnson has said that the proposed television debate between Corbyn and May would be a “false choice” between two Remainers.

The former foreign secretary turned vocal backbench Tory critic said that it needed “someone who believes in Brexit” - but fell short of putting himself forward.

His intervention came after May had rejected calls for leaders of smaller political parties to join the two main party leaders in a televised debate.

Johnson, who had made repeated attacks on May’s Withdrawal Agreement, wrote on Twitter: “Debates are great for democracy - but rather than widening discourse, this debate is narrowing it by offering a false choice between May’s failing deal and Corbyn’s vague proposals - neither of which are Brexit.

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“There is no point having a debate with two people who voted Remain & deals that don’t take back control.

“Any debate must involve someone who believes in Brexit & the British people being fully in control of their laws, rather than giving back control to the EU like the PM’s deal.”

After groups with almost every possible position on Brexit said they should take part in any broadcast ahead of the meaningful vote, May said she and the Labour leader represented almost 90% of MPs in the Commons.

Her comments to reporters during a visit to Wales followed demands by the SNP, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, Plaid Cymru and campaigners for a second Brexit referendum to join them.

During a visit to the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Builth Wells in Powys, May said: “Of course I am going to be debating in the House of Commons with all parties on the issue of the Brexit deal.

“Jeremy Corbyn and I are leaders of parties that cover getting on for 90% of all MPs in the House of Commons.

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“This is a really important moment for our country.

“I have a clear deal that I believe is in the interests of the UK and I think it is right for people to hear what Jeremy Corbyn’s views are as those have been a little uncertain recently about exactly where he stands.”

Labour is also behind plans for a head-to-head before the December 11 vote, saying Mr Corbyn would “relish” going up against the prime minister over the Withdrawal Agreement.

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