Corbyn vs Johnson debate fact checked & live polls.
- Boris claimed the Tories would “upgrade 20 hospitals and have 40 new hospitals” when in reality the current plan is to spend £2.7bn on building work for six hospitals and the remaining 34 will only share an initial £0.1bn to develop future plans. Additionally, in order to deliver the plan they’d have to roll it out over 10yrs, which means they’d have to win two elections with an overall majority each time.
- Jeremy Corbyn’s claim that Johnson’s Brexit deal “narrowly got through the House of Commons with the support of the DUP” was partially incorrect. It was a narrow margin but the DUP voted against it. The deal was in fact supported by 285 Tory MPs, 19 Labour MPs and 25 independents.
- Boris claimed Labour would increase corporation tax “to the highest in Europe.” Labour have already declared they would raise it back up to 26%, which is still lower than what is used to be in the UK and considerably lower than France (32%), Portugal (32%), Germany (30%), Belgium (30%), Greece (28%) and Italy (28%).
- Jeremy Corbyn said “There are 33,000 nurse vacancies at the moment in the NHS.” In fact this was underestimated as, according to NHS Improvement, there are currently 39,500 nursing vacancies in the NHS in England.
- Johnson claimed Labour and the SNP “are going to do a deal – and they probably already have done a deal… to form a Corbyn-Sturgeon coalition” and then goes on to claim that “the price of that deal, the price of Nicola Sturgeon’s support, would be a second referendum on the union with Scotland.” In response, Corbyn stated clearly that “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.” Corbyn has also repeatedly ruled out a second referendum on Scottish independence in 2020.
- On the question of a trade border down the Irish Sea, Johnson declared there would be no border and added “Northern Ireland is part of the customs territory of the UK.” While the definition of a trade border is unclear, Northern Ireland will share single market rules with the EU which would require some British products (mostly manufactured and agricultural products) being checked at border posts and a minimum £47 levy. Additionally, there would still be customs checks on goods from the rest of the UK and as Northern Ireland.
- Corbyn claimed Johnson would “sell our NHS out to the United States and Big Pharma.” In response, Johnson declared “There are no circumstances… in which this government or any Conservative will put the NHS on the table in any free trade negotiation.” However, Donald Trump has previously said that any future trade discussions with the UK would have to include “full market access” for US pharmaceuticals. Given that the core argument for a hard or no-deal Brexit, by the UK government, is that the UK would be free to do trade deals with the rest of the world, the success of a Tory Brexit is directly linked to it’s ability to strike trade deals with major economies like the US, so it’s entirely possible that US negotiators could insist on full market access to the NHS.
- Corbyn claimed that a UK/US trade deal is likely to take “at least seven years.” While this can only be an estimate, it did take seven years to negotiate the EU/Canada trade deal.
- Johnson claimed Labour’s planned borrowing to fund campaign promises would ‘push up interest rates for every UK household’. The Tories have also previously claimed that Labour would spend £1.2tn over five years, however this estimate is not based on Labour’s manifesto (which has not yet been released) and Labour have categorically disputed the estimate as incorrect. Also, interest rates are currently at historical lows and, according to the Resolution Foundation, both Labour and the Tories plan to raise public spending back to 1970s levels.
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