• STV
  • MySTV

Boris Johnson: The union is more important than Brexit

The Prime Minister and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn went head-to-head in a debate on STV.

Boris Johnson has said the union is more important than Brexit in the first TV debate of the general election campaign.

The Prime Minister went head-to-head with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the ITV debate, which was broadcast live on STV.

Both leaders were asked by a member of the audience whether the integrity of the UK was worth sacrificing for the sake of leaving the EU.

It comes after a poll of Conservative party members in the summer found nearly two-thirds of them said they would want Brexit to happen even if the result was Scottish independence.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1438616-poll-of-tory-members-an-utter-disaster-for-davidson/ | default

First to answer, Corbyn said the PM's Brexit deal was "about creating a border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and creating a different customs arrangement for Northern Ireland with the rest of Ireland".

Johnson responded: "We have a deal that keeps the whole of the UK together as we come of the EU.

"And, of course, Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party, be in no doubt about it, in order to secure power and the keys to Number 10 are going to do a deal, or probably already have done a deal with Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP to form Corbyn-Sturgeon coalition.

"The price of that deal ... would be a second referendum on the union with Scotland."

Pressed on if the union is more important than Brexit, Corbyn opened by initially replying to "nonsense" suggestions from the PM about a coalition between Labour and the SNP.

He said: "There's not going to be a coalition between Labour and anybody else. There are no deals that have been done and there will be no deals that are done."

The Labour leader reiterated that his party is against allowing a second independence referendum in the "early years" of a Corbyn government.

On the union question, he went on: "Our country is obviously very, very important and we have to bring this business to a close, and that's why we're proposing a trade deal with Europe or staying in - one or the other - as a way of bringing this issue to a close."

On the same question, Johnson said: "The union is, of course, the most important thing. It's a fantastic thing."

He added: "I listened very carefully as I always do to Mr Corbyn - I didn't hear him say he was going to rule out a referendum on Scotland. Did you?"

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1442487-snp-and-lib-dems-lose-legal-fight-to-join-itv-debate/ | default

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson were excluded from the ITV debate, having lost a legal fight to join it the day before.

But both leaders will feature in live interviews on the channel at 10pm, as well as in a six-way debate scheduled for early December.

The interview programme on Tuesday night will also include Brexit party leader Nigel Farage and England and Wales Green party co-leader Sian Berry.

Responding during the debate, the SNP tweeted: "Boris Johnson is happy to talk about the SNP, but he's too much of a feartie to debate @NicolaSturgeon."

The First Minister commented afterwards: "The clear takeaway for Scotland from this debate is that neither of these men should be able to determine Scotland's future.

"Jeremy Corbyn can't decide if he is leave or remain and Boris Johnson is determined to take Scotland out of the EU against our will.

"Only a vote for the SNP in this election can help Scotland escape from Brexit - and secure our right to choose a better future as an independent country."

Swinson posted on social media throughout the debate, stating shortly after the question about the union: "Two questions in, and we've had neither person argue for staying in the EU, and neither person stand up for keeping our family of nations together. Some debate this..."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1442443-stv-to-host-general-election-debate-with-scottish-leaders/ | default

A TV debate featuring four of the Scottish party leaders will be broadcast by STV next month.

Nicola Sturgeon, Richard Leonard, Jackson Carlaw and Willie Rennie are all expected to take part in the televised general election debate on December 3.

The hour-long broadcast will see the party leaders debate each other directly, with questions also coming from STV News' political editor Colin Mackay, who will be hosting the event.

Neither the Scottish Greens, the Brexit Party or UKIP will take part, however STV is planning a series of interviews with party leaders, which will include those from the Brexit Party and Scottish Greens, to be aired at a later date.

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1442402-here-are-the-candidates-in-scotland-for-the-general-election/ | default

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.