Boris Johnson accuses Jeremy Corbyn of planning to 'rig' second referendum by giving EU citizens the vote

Posted On: 
6th December 2019

Jeremy Corbyn plans to "rig" a second Brexit referendum by giving EU citizens the right to vote in it, Boris Johnson has claimed.

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn will go head-to-head in a BBC debate tonight.
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The Prime Minister has written to the Labour leader saying the move - which would add around two million more people to the electoral register - was "profoundly undemocratic".

Labour’s manifesto includes plans to give all UK residents, including EU citizens, the vote.

It also pledges to renegotiate Mr Johnson's Brexit deal and put it back to the people in a referendum next summer.

In his letter to Mr Corbyn, the PM said: “Your manifesto sets out plans to fiddle your second referendum on Brexit.

“You want to give two million EU nationals the vote in your referendum. This is a sly attempt to undermine the result of the 2016 referendum, and is profoundly undemocratic.”

At the Labour Party conference earlier this year, Mr Corbyn announced plans to let all UK citizens aged over 16 vote, regardless of citizenship status.

An attempt by MPs to extend the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds and EU nationals was blocked in the Commons in October, shortly before Mr Johnson secured a general election.

The Prime Minister added in his letter that giving EU citizens the vote could create “terrible bitterness” if it contributed to the Remain side winning.

He said: “Imagine how people will feel if the biggest democratic exercise in our history is overturned because you gave two million EU citizens the power to reverse Brexit.  

“It would alienate millions who already feel disenfranchised and ignored by our political system.”

Mr Johnson’s intervention comes ahead of the two party leaders facing off in a televised debate on the BBC tonight - their last head-to-head clash ahead of the general election.

The Prime Minister came under increased scrutiny on Thursday after BBC presenter Andrew Neil goaded him for dodging a one-on-one interview with him.