Theresa May rejects call to hold bushtucker trial instead of TV debate
PUBLISHED: 13:30 27 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:37 27 November 2018
Theresa May has turned down a call to host a live bushtucker trial on TV instead of her Brexit debate with Jeremy Corbyn.
The prime minister has scheduled the debate with Corbyn, on her Brexit deal with the European Union, for December 9 - the same day as the final of this year's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!
Asked today whether she had considered holding a bushtucker trial instead, May replied: "I think this is an issue on which we want to debate the questions of our future.
"It's about people's jobs and about their livelihoods, and I think they would expect us to do this seriously."
She was also asked whether she thought she could win a ratings battle with I'm A Celebrity, which is scheduled to be on at the same time as the debate.
She said: "Nothing has been settled in terms of when the debate will take place but I think this is an important moment for our country and it is right that we treat it with the seriousness it deserves. It is a big decision MPs will be taking.
"I believe we have a good deal for the UK, it delivers on the Brexit vote, it protects people's jobs. I believe this is in the national interest."
Speaking at the Royal Welsh Show in Powys, Mid Wales, May rejected calls for the debate to include representatives from other political parties.
"Of course I am going to be debating in the House of Commons with all parties on the issue of the Brexit deal," she said.
"Jeremy Corbyn and I are leaders of parties that cover getting on for 90% of all MPs in the House of Commons.
"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."
May was asked whether she had a "Plan B" should her Brexit deal be rejected in Parliament.
"I am focusing on the vote that will take place in the House of Commons and I am focusing on what is a very significant decision for Members of Parliament to take for the future of our country," she said.
"I ask every Member of Parliament to consider the national interest in doing so, to recognise the need to deliver on Brexit and to do it in a way that protects people's jobs.
"If the deal is voted down in the House of Commons, it will lead to more division and more uncertainty.
"My focus... many people said I wouldn't get this deal, I've got this deal... my focus now is taking this deal through the House of Commons because it is a good deal for the UK, it is a deal that is in the national interest and in the interest of the whole of the United Kingdom."
The prime minister rejected claims from Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster that she had "given up" on getting a better Brexit deal.
"We have been resisting many of the things the European Union had wanted to put," May said.
"When you negotiate, neither side gets 100% of what they want, it is about compromising but you have to be clear about what your vital interests are, and we have protected those vital interests and that includes protecting the interests of the people of Northern Ireland."
Mrs May was also asked whether she was losing support for her Brexit deal after former defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon said he would not be supporting it in Parliament.
"The Brexit deal has been agreed and I am taking that to the House of Commons," she said.
"I am here today at the winter fair at the Royal Welsh hearing from farmers and manufacturers the importance of the certainty that the deal brings, the importance of the free trade area and the ability to continue to export well with the European Union in the future, which we see in that Political Declaration for our future relationship on trade with the European Union.
"I think what is important when MPs come to vote is that they think about the national interest - that means delivering on Brexit but it means doing it in a way that delivers for people in protecting their security, protecting their jobs, protecting their livelihoods.
"This deal delivers on both of those."