Clegg Challenges Farage To In/Out EU Debate On LBC
Thursday 20th February 2014
Nick Clegg has challenged UKIP leader Nigel Farage to a public debate on whether the UK should remain in the EU.
LBC will host the debate in the run-up to May's European elections after Mr Clegg described himself as the leader of the "In Party" and UKIP the "out party".
The Deputy Prime Minister threw down the gauntlet to Mr Farage on Call Clegg this morning.
Mr Clegg said: "I will challenge Nigel Farage to a public open debate about whether we should be in or out of the European Union, because that is now the choice facing this country and he is the leader of the party of 'Out', I am the leader of the party of 'In'.
"I think it's time we now have a proper public debate so the public can listen to the two sides of the argument and judge for themselves.
"If Nigel Farage is either listening or looking at this programme I hope he would take up my challenge to debate, once and for all, publically, should we be in the European Union - which I believe means that we have more people in work than would otherwise be the case, we keep ourselves safer because we can go after cross-border crime and terrorism, it means we can look after the environment in the way that we can't on our own or do we do what UKIP want which is to pull ourselves out of the European Union and so jeopardise millions of jobs in this country?
"That's the choice let's have the debate out in the open and I am very happy and very keen to debate that with Nigel Farage directly."
Will Nigel Farage accept the challenge? He is live with Nick Ferrari At Breakfast tomorrow, where he'll respond - watch it live on LBC.co.uk.
A UKIP spokesman said: "Mr Farage would like to thank Mr Clegg for his kind invitation to a debate on the great issue of Britainís membership of the European Union.
"Perhaps he could also let us know whether he has invited David Cameron and Ed Miliband too in order that the British people can see all their main political leaders argue their positions.
"If this challenge means that Mr Clegg is going to restore his backing for an In/Out referendum, which he gave before the last election but then withdrew afterwards, then it could be a significant moment in British politics.
"Mr Farage will give a full response to this development on LBC tomorrow morning."
Ladbrokes make Nick Clegg a narrow favourite in the debate. Who do you think would win?