Prime Minister Boris Johnson shook hands with his rival, opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, during a live television debate, as both men agreed to improve the tone of Britain’s political debate.
But the debate was otherwise testy, as Britain’s departure from the EU dominated the opening exchanges when both leaders trying to cast doubt over the other’s pledges ahead of the December 12 election.
Audience members laughed at Corbyn’s insistence that his Brexit position was clear, as well as at Johnson’s claim that he believed the truth mattered in the vote.
Johnson is promising to implement the exit deal he negotiated with Brussels and lead Britain out of the EU within months. He previously said he would prefer to be “dead in a ditch” than extend Brexit beyond October 31, a deadline which has now passed.
Corbyn wants to negotiate a new exit deal and put it to a referendum within six months alongside the option to remain in the bloc. Corbyn said during the debate he would honour whatever the result of that vote was.