British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Labor rival Jeremy Corbyn clashed on Friday, Dec. 6, in a no-nonsense duel, each pounding his Brexit arguments six days before the legislative elections.
For a little over an hour, everyone seemed to play their part without taking any chances. The conservative leader, whose party enjoys a score of points in the polls, has once again played the card of the exit agreement of the European Union he negotiated with Brussels.
Hoping to win the net majority that he lacked until then, Boris Johnson hopes to adopt his Brexit agreement "before Christmas" and implement its program "massive investment". He promises that the Brexit, already postponed three times, will take place on January 31st.
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Corbyn still neutral on Brexit
In a very divided country about Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn defended his proposal to hold a referendum within six months for the British to choose between a new exit agreement from the EU and the continuation of the EU. But in this new referendum, Jeremy Corbyn would remain neutral, which earned him the incessant jeers of Boris Johnson.
"How can you get a Brussels Brexit deal if you do not believe it is a mystery I can not understand," he said.
Leading a campaign on the far left, 70-year-old Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn attacked Boris Johnson saying it would take "seven years" to negotiate with the US the free trade deal promised by the Conservative leader "large-scale" job cuts. It promises nationalization and investment in public services, to turn the page of a decade of austerity under the conservatives.
Boris Johnson topping the polls
At the end of this debate, which was held in front of a hundred people representative of the British electorate, a survey Yougov gave Boris Johnson winner at 52%, against 48% to Jeremy Corbyn. But the latter appeared more trustworthy among respondents.
Attacked on the problem of anti-Semitism, which he is accused of having allowed to flourish within his party, Jeremy Corbyn emphasized having introduced disciplinary procedures. Accused of "lack of leadership" by his opponent, he replied by pointing out that he had never used "racist" language, referring to comments by Boris Johnson, who had compared women in burqas to mailboxes.
In the morning, Jeremy Corbyn had delivered a new charge against Boris Johnson, producing a confidential document of the government which proves, according to him, that the head of the government hides to the British the real economic implications of the agreement of divorce negotiated with the European Union.
"Harmful" customs duties
This report shows that there will be regulatory controls or even "damaging" customs duties between the British province of Northern Ireland and Great Britain after Brexit, contrary to what Boris Johnson asserts about the absence of border between the two territories separated by the Irish Sea, detailed the leader of the opposition during a campaign speech in London. "Totally absurd," Boris Johnson retorted at a meeting.
Before this debate took place, the Prime Minister was accused of shirking and dodging disturbing questions by refusing to meet with star interviewer Andrew Neil on the BBC.
The latter challenged the prime minister on Thursday evening, explaining directly to viewers: "The thread of our questions is trust, and why on so many occasions in (the) career (of Mr. Johnson), in politics and politics, journalism, critical people and sometimes even those close to him have found it unreliable, "he said.