Nick Clegg v Nigel Farage TV debate on the UK and the EU

Key Points

  • Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and UKIP leader Nigel Farage clashed over the EU's effect on immigration and the economy
  • Mr Farage accused Mr Clegg of "wilfully lying" but Mr Clegg said his UKIP counterpart's opinions were out of date
  • Instant opinion polls gave Mr Farage a victory over Mr Clegg, one by 69% to 31% and another by 68% to 27%
  1.  
    17:59:

    Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the BBC TV debate between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage. The Liberal Democrat and UK Independence Party leaders will face each other for an hour on the question of whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union.

     
  2.  
    18:00:

    BBC Question Time host David Dimbleby will present and moderate the debate, which is taking place at the BBC's Broadcasting House in central London.

     
  3.  
    18:01:
    Crew setting up for Farage-Clegg debate The final touches have been put to the set for the debate
     
  4.  
    18:04:

    We'll have minute-by-minute updates of the toing and froing between Mr Clegg and Mr Farage, as well as expert analysis from the BBC's political correspondents. We'll also print a selection of reader's views and opinion from across Twitter.

     
  5.  
    18:05:

    So what's the debate all about? The EU divides opinion throughout the UK - but it is difficult to conceive of a starker divide than the one between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage.

     
  6.  
    18:06:

    Nigel Farage rejects the idea that leaving a political union with Europe would harm trade. He also says wages are undercut by EU immigrants. But Nick Clegg claims UKIP is advocating a form of "economic suicide".

     
  7.  
    18:07:

    Nick Clegg has repeatedly emphasised the importance of EU membership to jobs in the UK, claiming that three million would be at risk if it were to leave - but Nigel Farage says this is "complete and utter nonsense".

     
  8.  
    18:08:

    On crime, too, the leaders are completely at odds. Nick Clegg says EU co-operation on justice helps bring hundreds of murderers and paedophiles to book, but Nigel Farage complains that it is unnecessary because the UK could reach sensible extradition agreements from outside the EU.

     
  9.  
    18:10:

    This is round two in the battle between the two leaders. Last week, in a debate hosted by LBC, they clashed on jobs, immigration and the record of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Host David Dimbleby has said one or the other needs to make a few "knockout blows" tonight. In just under an hour we'll find out whether they can.

     
  10.  
    FACTCHECKING 18:11: Anthony Reuben Head of statistics, BBC News

    I'm at Broadcasting House with BBC political analyst Emily Craig. We're going to be checking the facts used in the debate and bringing you instant analysis.

     
  11.  
    18:13:

    Nigel Farage has said he's out to win tonight's debate. Asked whether it "could get personal", he said that was not his style but in the "heat of battle" it was hard to predict what would happen.

     
  12.  
    18:15:

    The UKIP leader has taken some flak for expressing his admiration for Vladimir Putin in a recent interview. Mr Farage told the BBC he drew a distinction between the Russian leader's strengths as a political operator and as a man.

     
  13.  
    18:16:

    While he would not want to live in Vladimir Putin's Russia - describing its treatment of journalists as "deplorable" - Mr Farage said the Russian leader had effectively stopped a wider war in Syria.

     
  14.  
    18:17:
    BBC Broadcasting House The scene outside BBC HQ New Broadcasting House
     
  15.  
    18:19:

    In case you hadn't noticed, neither David Cameron nor Ed Miliband will be on the platform tonight - having turned down the opportunity to take part. The Lib Dems have said the pair are "lost in action" while UKIP has said they've "gone AWOL".

     
  16.  
    18:20:
    BBC studio BBC presenter David Dimbleby has been rehearsing this afternoon
     
  17.  
    18:21:

    David Cameron won't be watching tonight's action as it happens, according to his spokesman. But he is likely to tune in to some of the highlights later, we are assured.

     
  18.  
    18:22:

    BBC political editor Nick Robinson says he expects the second debate to have a different feel, less cautious than the first.

     
  19.  
    18:22:

    Nigel Farage has arrived at New Broadcasting House, the scene of tonight's debate, surrounded by journalists and photographers.

     
  20.  
    18:25:

    Tory grandee Lord Heseltine has attempted to downplay the importance of the debate, saying Europe is not a "burning issue down the Bull and Bush pub". But he has repeated his belief that the UK will join the euro one day.

     
  21.  
    18:26:
    Nick Robinson and Nigel Farage Nigel Farage arrived at BBC HQ as political editor Nick Robinson broadcast live on the Six O'Clock News
     
  22.  
    18:28:

    The BBC Radio Theatre, the venue for the debate, is also used to record episodes of the panel game Just a Minute. This is rather appropriate as the two leaders will get a minute to make their opening statement.

     
  23.  
    18:30:
    A news screen on a train Some lucky commuters are able to follow all the debate action as it happens, courtesy of screens on trains
     
  24.  
    18:31:

    Nick Clegg has told the BBC he is looking forward to the encounter - adding that it is "big debate on an important issue".

     
  25.  
    18:36:

    The debate hasn't started yet but the Green Party has already dismissed it as a "shouting match". In an online parody, it is calling for more focus on environmental issues and a Europe working for "the common good".

     
  26.  
    18:39:

    It will be a bit of a trip down memory lane for David Dimbleby tonight. It is 39 years since he refereed a debate on Europe between Labour's Roy Jenkins and Tony Benn ahead of the last, and so-far only, in-out referendum.

     
  27.  
    18:41:

    The BBC's Norman Smith is inside what he is calling the "spin bar" - a room near the debate venue where party officials will brief journalists later on and where refreshments will be served.

     
  28.  
    18:43:

    Norman Smith says the Lib Dems are looking for more "passion" from their party leader than in last week's encounter, while UKIP is hoping to hammer home the "details" of its arguments.

     
  29.  
    18:46:

    Lib Dem President Tim Farron says his party is not full of "starry-eyed pro-Europeans" but believes that EU membership serves the UK's interests by giving it more international clout and standing.

     
  30.  
    18:47:
    Nigel Farage Nigel Farage arrives at BBC HQ
     
  31.  
    18:48:

    UKIP's head of policy Tim Aker says the EU's "law-making machine never stops" and the party's leader will be pointing out the extent of Brussels' reach into British life.

     
  32.  
    18:49:

    The Times journalist Tim Montgomerie says the debate shows the "steady drift" away from two-party politics in the UK, adding that it is "great publicity" for the UKIP leader.

     
  33.  
    18:51:

    Nigel Farage must not let his "anger" at the European Union get out of control and remain "rational" in his criticisms, Tim Montgomerie suggests.

     
  34.  
    18:52: Chris Mason Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: The 'spin room' is filling up ahead of #europedebate on @bbctwo and @bbcnews shortly

    Spin room
     
  35.  
    18:53:

    David Cameron will be rooting for Nick Clegg tonight, The Times' Tim Montgomerie argues, saying the Conservatives "cannot allow UKIP to continue to surge" in the polls.

     
  36.  
    18:53:

    We are less than 10 minutes away from the start of debate.

     
  37.  
    18:55:

    Anyone wondering where the phrase "spin room" came from? The BBC's Norman Smith has dug into the history books and found it was coined in the aftermath of the first 1984 US presidential debate between Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale.

     
  38.  
    18:57:

    Nigel Farage got more mentions on Twitter and elsewhere on social media during last week's debate. Who will win the most attention this time around?

     
  39.  
    18:57:
    Nick Clegg Nick Clegg arrived at BBC HQ a little earlier
     
  40.  
    19:00:

    We are under way, with David Dimbleby welcoming viewers.

     
  41.  
    19:01:

    Mr Dimbleby says the rules are simple, with one-minute opening and closing statements, with plenty of debate and audience questions in between.

     
  42.  
    19:02:

    Nigel Farage has won a toss of a coin and is speaking first.

     
  43.  
    19:03:

    Mr Farage says the character of Europe has changed totally in the past 40 years, with a focus on trade moving morphing into a political union.

     
  44.  
    19:03:
    Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg
     
  45.  
    19:03:

    The UKIP leader says he wants the UK to "get up off its knees and govern itself again".

     
  46.  
    19:04:

    It is Nick Clegg's turn now. He says it is a "dangerous con" to suggest the UK can isolate itself from the world, while still protecting jobs.

     
  47.  
    19:05:

    In a dangerous world, there is "strength in numbers", Mr Clegg says - arguing that the EU offers many benefits to the UK.

     
  48.  
    19:05: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: First line of attack from Nigel Farage - Nick Clegg stands up for big business #europedebate

     
  49.  
    19:06:

    The first question is about the two men's principles. Mr Clegg says working with other countries strengthens the country and Britain must not become a "Billy-no-mates" nation.

     
  50.  
    19:06: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: Nigel Farage says career politicians and big business are the barriers to getting out of EU #europedebate

     
  51.  
    19:07:

    Nigel Farage says the UK would not be isolated outside the EU and the UK must be striking trade deals with emerging economic giants.

     
  52.  
    19:07:

    Mr Farage says the UK must become more "outward-looking" in the 21st Century.

     
  53.  
    19:07: Chris Mason Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Clegg: it's 'Billy No Jobs Britain' if the UK leaves the EU #europedebate

     
  54.  
    19:08:

    The first statistics of the evening. Nick Clegg says more than 90% of British car manufacturers believe that EU exit would damage the UK.

     
  55.  
    19:09:

    But Nigel Farage takes issue with Mr Clegg's comments - saying 62% of those firms in the survey cited are calling for serious reform to the European Union.

     
  56.  
    19:09: Kevin Maguire, Daily Mail

    tweets: Clegg's opening statement punchier than Farage's. The Lib Dem boy's raised his game in the Euro debate

     
  57.  
    19:09:

    Nick Clegg points to ways in which the European Union is making consumers' lives better. He says the European Parliament will vote tomorrow on a plan to reduce mobile phone roaming charges and urges Mr Farage to back it.

     
  58.  
    FACTCHECKING 19:10: Anthony Reuben Head of statistics, BBC News

    Nigel Farage says "they sell us more than we sell them". In 2013 the UK's exports to the EU totalled £154bn while we imported £218bn worth of goods.

     
  59.  
    19:10:
    BBC studio audience The audience listens to Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage
     
  60.  
    19:10:

    We are on to the second question from the floor - about the EU's role in foreign policy and world affairs. Mr Farage suggests that EU officials are considering acquiring more military might, such as an airforce and drones.

     
  61.  
    19:10:

    Mr Farage says an expansionist EU policy is a "danger to peace".

     
  62.  
    19:11: Mehdi Hassan, Huffington Post UK's political director

    tweets: Clegg has improved since last week. Thankfully.

     
  63.  
    19:11:

    Mr Clegg suggests that the Lib Dems are the "party of in" while UKIP is the "party of Putin" - adding that Mr Farage's comments on the Russian leader are "indefensible".

     
  64.  
    FACTCHECKING 19:12: Emily Craig Political analyst, BBC News

    This is the car industry report they were talking about. 58% of those surveyed said they wanted to stay in with reform. 34% would stay in regardless. 3% want to leave.

     
  65.  
    19:12:

    The UKIP leader says the British public have had enough of "endless foreign interventions" - claiming Mr Clegg backed the bombing of Libya and Syria.

     
  66.  
    19:13: Brussels Lib Dems

    tweets: Full house here in Brussels for #NickvNigel #europedebate! pic.twitter.com/RJZDB6HNtd

     
  67.  
    19:13: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Groans in the debate press room when Nick Clegg says 'Farage is leader of Putin'

     
  68.  
    19:13:

    We are now on to the issue of Mr Farage's views on Vladimir Putin. Mr Farage says he does "not like the man" but claims he "outwitted and outclassed" other leaders over Syria.

     
  69.  
    19:14:

    Mr Clegg says Mr Farage's views on Mr Putin are reminiscent of a "pub bar discussion" - and that the Russian leader could have brought the conflict in Syria to an end with "one phone call" but decided not to.

     
  70.  
    FACTCHECKING 19:15: Emily Craig Political analyst, BBC News

    Nick Clegg says half of our exports are to Europe and we buy only 8% of what they sell. Official figures back this up. In 2013, UK exports totalled £304bn, with half (£153bn) going to the EU. We import around 9% of the goods exported within the EU - in 2012 it was £257bn of a total of £2,840bn.

     
  71.  
    19:16:
    David Dimbleby BBC presenter David Dimbleby is chairing the debate
     
  72.  
    19:16:

    Mr Farage again says the EU wants its own "army and navy" - but Mr Clegg says this is a "dangerous fantasy that is simply not true".

     
  73.  
    19:17:
    Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg
     
  74.  
    19:17:

    Poking fun at Mr Farage, the Lib Dem leader suggests the UKIP leader will claim next that "the moon landing never happened, Barack Obama is not American and Elvis is not dead".

     
  75.  
    19:18:

    The two men are trading barbs over immigration and the number of people who might potentially move to the UK from the rest of the EU.

     
  76.  
    19:19: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: Nick Clegg deliberately talking over Nigel Farage. Danger of over doing the passion ?? #europedebate

     
  77.  
    FACTCHECKING 19:19: Anthony Reuben Head of statistics, BBC News

    Nick Clegg confirms that he believes that 7% of new laws are related to our EU membership. He's referring to figures from the House of Commons Library, which estimated that between 1997 and 2009, 6.8% of primary legislation (statutes) had a role in implementing EU directives. However, this figure doesn't include other rules and regulations. If you do, the figure is considerably higher, but still unlikely to be over 50%.

     
  78.  
    19:19:

    A question from the floor about how Britain's national infrastructure will cope with growing levels of immigration.

     
  79.  
    19:20: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Nick Clegg plays the man as well as the ball - says Farage is so out of touch with reality he will be saying Elvis isn't dead #europedebate

     
  80.  
    19:20:
    Nigel Farage
     
  81.  
    19:21:

    Mr Clegg is first to respond to the immigration question. He says the government has tightened up the rules on new arrivals claiming benefits but adds that is a "two-way street" - pointing out than one in seven of new businesses are set up by immigrants.

     
  82.  
    19:21: Mark Thompson, political pundit

    tweets: Clegg needs to stop banging his podium

     
  83.  
    FACTCHECKING 19:21: Anthony Reuben Head of statistics, BBC News

    Nick Clegg argues that 1 in every 7 companies in the UK is set up by an immigrant. This figure appears in a report from the Centre for Entrepreneurs. 

     
  84.  
    19:21:

    The UKIP says immigration has led to a "chronic" shortage of school places and the UK will need to build a new house every seven minutes to put a roof over all those coming.

     
  85.  
    19:22: Harry Cole, Contributing Editor of The Spectator.

    tweets: Audible groans in the spin room for "party of Putin."

     
  86.  
    19:23:

    Mr Clegg is now brandishing a UKIP leaflet - featuring a picture of a Native American - which he says suggests that if the British people ignore immigration, they will "end up on a reservation".

     
  87.  
    19:23:

    Mr Farage says he does not "recognise" the leaflet and does not "endorse its sentiments".

     
  88.  
    19:24: John Prescott, Former Deputy Prime Minister

    tweets: I've been waiting to watch this. Incisive debate, tackling the major issues & what people really care about. You can't beat Emmerdale

     
  89.  
    19:24:

    The Lib Dem leader rejects claims that anyone who wants to come to the UK from across the EU can do so, warning against "dangerous scaremongering" over the issue.

     
  90.  
    19:24: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: More mellow, controlled performance from Nigel Farage than last week in #europedebate and no sweating (so far)

     
  91.  
    19:25:
    Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg
     
  92.  
    19:25: Sam Macrory, Editor of Total Politics

    tweets: 'I wouldn't be surprised if Nigel Farage tells us Elvis isn't dead' -Clegg is doing his best to get Farage to lose his temper #europedebate

     
  93.  
    19:25:

    Migration will always cause some difficulties, Mr Clegg says, but the government must ensure that incomers must abide by "the rules of the game".

     
  94.  
    FACTCHECKING 19:26: Emily Craig Political analyst, BBC News

    Nick Clegg says there aren't 29 million people living in Romania and Bulgaria. The World Bank puts the figure at 28.6 million. I think we might let UKIP round up.

     
  95.  
    19:26:

    Mr Farage refers to a report from Migration Watch, which suggested that a city the size of Manchester would need to be built to cope with levels of migration over the next five years.

     
  96.  
    19:27:
    Graphic
     
  97.  
    19:27:

    The Lib Dem leader dismisses Migration Watch's findings as "complete nonsense", saying the population of Manchester is 2.7 million and migration on that scale will not happen.

     
  98.  
    19:27:

    As David Dimbleby introduces the next question, also on immigration, his voice breaks slightly.

     
  99.  
    FACTCHECKING 19:28: Anthony Reuben Head of statistics, BBC News

    Nick Clegg says that 9 out of 10 new jobs have been going to British workers. These figures come from the Labour Force Survey, but they include migrants who subsequently became citizens. Indeed, one third of new jobs went to such people, although they make up only 13% of the population.

     
  100.  
    19:29:

    Addressing the impact of immigration, Mr Farage says it has benefited the rich but been a disaster for the white working class - saying the UK cannot hope to provide jobs when there is an "open door" to 485 million people.

     
  101.  
    19:29:

    The Lib Dem leader suggests that Mr Farage "does not like modern Britain" and that, in contrast, he is very comfortable with it.

     
  102.  
    19:30:
    Nick Clegg
     
  103.  
    FACTCHECKING 19:30: Emily Craig Political analyst, BBC News

    Nick Clegg repeats that since 2004 1.5 million EU migrants have come here, and around half have then left. According to the Office for National Statistics, around 1.7 million EU migrants have moved to the UK since 2004 and, as Clegg says, about half have returned home.

     
  104.  
    19:31:

    Mr Clegg acknowledges that changes in technology have resulted in job losses in certain industries and the UK must strive to create skilled employment for manual workers. But the UKIP leader says the UK does not have the power under EU law to do this.

     
  105.  
    19:31: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: Nigel Farage says immigration has left "white working class as an under class" #europedebate

     
  106.  
    19:32:

    There is too much red tape in the EU, Mr Clegg admits, in a response to a question from the floor on EU reforms and how they may benefit the British economy.

     
  107.  
    19:33:

    The UKIP leader claims that the UK is pursuing a "unilateral" energy policy, based around renewables, which is damaging industry and pushing prices up.

     
  108.  
    FACTCHECKING 19:33: Anthony Reuben Head of statistics, BBC News

    This is the Migration Watch report that they were arguing about, which suggests the need for a new city the size of Manchester in the next five years.

     
  109.  
    19:34: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: Farage seems to be winning on the audience clap-ometer scale #europedebate

     
  110.  
    19:34:

    As they move onto the issue of energy, Mr Clegg says the EU is too reliant on imports from Russia.

     
  111.  
    19:35: Tom Bradby, Political editor ITV News

    tweets: Well, so far, they've swapped roles; Nick is shouty and Nigel is more measured. And I'd say Nigel is consequently getting the better of it.

     
  112.  
    19:35:

    Mr Farage goes on to the attack over wind turbines, saying they have made "the rich richer, the poor poorer and not helped the environment".

     
  113.  
    19:36:

    The UKIP leader says he too wants "cheaper energy" and says backing for fracking could cut energy bills by 50%, adding: "Let's not look a gift horse in the mouth."

     
  114.  
    19:36: Mark Ferguson, Editor of LabourList

    tweets: I think Nigel Farage lives his whole world in black and white. Like TV in the "good old days" #NickvNigel

     
  115.  
    19:37:

    David Dimbleby suggests that Mr Clegg has spoken more than his rival so far. Mr Farage therefore gets first dibs on the next question about trade policy.

     
  116.  
    19:37:
    BBC studio
     
  117.  
    19:38:

    Mr Farage says an unelected official is now in charge of UK's trade policy. He says Switzerland has done trade deals with Japan and China - which the EU has failed to do.

     
  118.  
    19:38: Peter Henley Political editor, South of England

    tweets: There are just a handful of wind turbines in the South East England Euro constituency that Nigel Farage represents #europedebate

     
  119.  
    19:38:

    Mr Clegg says he has personal experience of negotiating trade deals when he worked in Brussels - adding that it is wrong to say the UK was effectively excluded from discussions.

     
  120.  
    19:39: Chris Mason Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Farage: 'let's get fracking.' #europedebate

     
  121.  
    FACTCHECKING 19:39: Emily Craig Political analyst, BBC News

    Much discussion of whether there is too much EU regulation on businesses. The fact-checking organisation Full Fact looked into this last year.

     
  122.  
    19:39: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: Farage deliberately pitching for Labour vote with attack on big business, wealthy land owners etc #europedebate

     
  123.  
    19:39:

    The Lib Dem leader says it would be wrong to unpick more than 50 existing trade deals, adding that the UK benefits from being part of a larger entity.

     
  124.  
    19:40: Chris Mason Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Tory MP John Redwood is sitting at the back of the spin room, making notes, nodding approval to a Farage answer #europedebate

     
  125.  
    19:40:
    Trade graphic
     
  126.  
    19:40:

    Nick Clegg suggests his rival is living in the 19th Century, suggesting the UKIP leader wanted to "return to the Gold Standard and see WG Grace opening the batting for England".

     
  127.  
    19:42:
    Here's WG Grace, as mentioned by Nick Clegg Here's WG Grace, as mentioned by Nick Clegg
     
  128.  
    19:42:

    The two leaders are arguing about who has the most modern vision for the UK and the EU. Mr Farage suggests the EU is an outdated "customs union" - and namechecks former Chancellor Lord Lawson among those now calling for a fundamental change to EU-UK links.

     
  129.  
    FACTCHECKING 19:43: Emily Craig Political analyst, BBC News

    Iceland announced a trade deal with China in April 2013. The EU currently does not have a trade deal with China. Switzerland and Norway do pay into the EU budget, as Nick Clegg says. Switzerland's contribution has been around £420m a year (or £53 a head). Norway pays in around £525m a year (or £106 a head).

     
  130.  
    19:43: Amol Rajan, Editor of The Independent

    tweets: Farage is a smart debater because however wrong he is, he articulates strong emotional positions clearly. #europedebate

     
  131.  
    19:43:
    David Dimbleby and Nigel Farage
     
  132.  
    19:44:

    The next question is about the powers of the government and Parliament vis-a-vis Brussels and whether the result of the next general election will make any difference. This gets a round of applause from the audience.

     
  133.  
    19:44: James Chapham, Daily Mail Political Editor

    tweets: Farage now successfully patronising Clegg. DPM relying on too many clunking pre-scripted gags #NickvNigel

     
  134.  
    19:45:

    David Dimbleby inadvertently calls the UKIP leader "Nick Farage" - the real Nigel Farage responds: "It is Nigel, honestly."

     
  135.  
    FACTCHECKING 19:45: Anthony Reuben Head of statistics, BBC News

    Nigel Farage's claim that the EU makes 75% of UK law was based on UKIP's own calculations. The party used a 2005 German government study, which said the equivalent figure for Germany was 84% and revised the figure downwards in light of the fact Britain didn't join the single currency.

     
  136.  
    19:46:

    The two men are disputing the amount of UK laws which emanate from Brussels. Nigel Farage says the figure is close to 75% but Mr Clegg says this is nonsense.

     
  137.  
    19:46: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: UKIP spinners laughing in spin room at Clegg claim Nigel Farage wants to go back to Gold Standard and 19th century #europedebate

     
  138.  
    19:46:
    Graphic showing cost of EU membership
     
  139.  
    19:47:

    The Lib Dem leader says 7% of primary law in the UK derives from Brussels and 14% of statutory instruments - citing figures from the House of Commons library.

     
  140.  
    19:48:

    The UKIP leader is not happy with these figures - accusing the Lib Dem leader of "wilfully lying" about the extent of Brussels' powers.

     
  141.  
    19:48: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Nick clegg opened by accusing Anti eu campaigners of a 'con' and now accuses Nigel farage of dishonesty #europedebate

     
  142.  
    FACTCHECKING 19:49: Anthony Reuben Head of statistics, BBC News

    As promised on the television: This 7% vs 75% argument is a tricky one. It could be as high as 50% if you include all rules and regulations and not just parliamentary statutes. But it is very hard to get to 75%.

     
  143.  
    19:50:

    The next question is about the prospect of an EU referendum. Mr Farage says it is "about time we have our say". It is his turn to brandish a leaflet - this time referring to a Lib Dem commitment in the last parliament to consult the public.

     
  144.  
    19:50: Lord Ashcroft, Former Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party

    tweets: On balance Farage will gain votes tonight.....

     
  145.  
    19:50:

    Nick Clegg says the Lib Dems are committed to holding a referendum if new powers are handed over to Brussels - pointing out that this is enshrined in law.

     
  146.  
    19:50:
    Graphic showing migration
     
  147.  
    19:51:
    Nigel Farage Nigel Farage brandishes a Lib Dem leaflet in which Nick Clegg campaigned for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
     
  148.  
    19:51:

    The UKIP leader says powers are moving to Brussels on a weekly basis, saying it is not a case of "lines in the sand" being passed every five or 10 years.

     
  149.  
    19:52: Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: Nick Clegg accuses Nigel Farage of "making things up" #europedebate

     
  150.  
    19:52:

    Mr Clegg says he has been consistent on the referendum issue, admitting that his guarantee of a poll in the event of future changes will not satisfy those who want a vote now.

     
  151.  
    19:53:

    The final question from the floor - what will the EU look like in 10 years' time?

     
  152.  
    19:53:
    BBC studio audience
     
  153.  
    19:53:

    Mr Clegg says the EU will be similar to how it is now in 2024. He insists that the UK's membership will be as important, in terms of protecting jobs, then as it is now.

     
  154.  
    19:54: Joey Jones, Sky News

    tweets: Good, tricky question - what will EU be like in 10 years. @nick_clegg waffling.

     
  155.  
    19:54: Chris Mason Political correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: Farage: 'in ten years time we won't be members of the European Union'

     
  156.  
    19:55:

    Mr Farage predicts the UK will have left the EU by 2024. He then says he wants the EU "to end democratically" and if it does not, it will do so "very unpleasantly".

     
  157.  
    19:56:

    Host David Dimbleby picks up the UKIP leader on his last remark, pressing him on what he is getting at. Mr Farage points to the growing popularity of neo-Nazi groups in Greece as evidence of increasing disillusionment and extremism.

     
  158.  
    19:56:
    Nick Clegg
     
  159.  
    19:56:

    The Lib Dem leader says people having been predicting the end of the EU for years.

     
  160.  
    19:56: Sam Macrory, Editor of Total Politics

    tweets: Not sure whether these debates have done any damage to Nick Clegg, but they've been priceless airtime for Farage. #europedebate

     
  161.  
    19:57:

    We are on to the closing statements. "It is our country... it is a great country and it has been given away through a load of lies and deceits," Nigel Farage says.

     
  162.  
    19:57:

    The UKIP leader urges people to "join the people's army and topple the establishment that got us into this mess".

     
  163.  
    19:57:
    Membership of eu
     
  164.  
    19:58:

    Nick Clegg appeals to people who "love modern Britain, compassionate, diverse and outward-looking".

     
  165.  
    FACTCHECKING 19:58: Anthony Reuben Head of statistics, BBC News

    Nigel Farage says that our membership of the EU costs £55m a day, which is £20bn a year. That's a gross figure, so it excludes the UK's rebate and payments made to UK farmers, for example. The Office for Budget Responsibility puts that gross figure at £45m a day. The Treasury puts the net figure, which takes account of things like the rebate, at £24m a day. The European Commission takes into account even more payments to the UK to give a net figure of £17m a day.

     
  166.  
    19:59: Stephen Pollard, Editor, the Jewish Chronicle

    tweets: I thought this would be low key after last week. Actually much more fiery. Both men were stronger and better debaters tonight.

     
  167.  
    19:59:

    The Lib Dem leader closes by saying he will do everything to keep the UK in the EU, saying this will be how "we protect the Britain we love".

     
  168.  
    20:00:

    That's it. David Dimbleby thanks the two men and audience members, saying he hopes the debate has been "stimulating, enjoyable and controversial".

     
  169.  
    FACTCHECKING 20:01: Emily Craig Political analyst, BBC News

    Nick Clegg said the European Commission employs fewer people than Derbyshire County Council. According to the council, it employs around 35,000 people - but that includes some 8,000 teachers. Meanwhile the European Commission employs just over 33,000 people (although that doesn't include staff working at the Parliament or in the European Council).

     
  170.  
    20:01:

    On the BBC News Channel, presenter Jane Hill suggests the debate was "tetchy and bad-tempered".

     
  171.  
    20:01: Sarah Vine, London

    tweets: I don't like the way that Farage laughs at his own brilliance all the time. #europedebate

     
  172.  
    20:01:
    Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg shake hands after the debate
     
  173.  
    20:02:

    The BBC's Norman Smith, in the spin room, gives his initial impressions. The debate was "uncompromising and brutal", he suggests.

     
  174.  
    20:05: Journalist and BBC presenter Mary Ann Sieghart

    tweets: Both were rather good tonight. A score draw, I'd say #europedebate

     
  175.  
    20:07:

    The first reaction from the Lib Dems. Party president Tim Farron claims Nick Clegg "won it comfortably".

     
  176.  
    20:08:

    Both sides are claiming victory. UKIP's Tim Aker says the polls suggested Mr Farage had won the first debate and that he believes it will be the same result this time.

     
  177.  
    20:09:

    Both sides seem to agree on one thing - that the Conservatives and Labour have lost out by not taking part in the two debates.

     
  178.  
    20:11:

    There are twin huddles in the Spin Room. UKIP's Patrick O'Flynn is doing one briefing on behalf of his leader while the Lib Dems' James McGrory is doing the same for Mr Clegg.

     
  179.  
    20:12:

    UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall says the "heated" debate was stronger than last week's and claims that Mr Farage won on all counts - trade, immigration and foreign policy.

     
  180.  
    20:14:

    Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander labels the UKIP leader "Nigel Mirage" for his performance, saying it was full of "dangerous fantasies".

     
  181.  
    20:15:

    Mr Clegg gives his first reaction to the debate. He says he enjoyed it enormously and it was the "start of a big debate" over the coming weeks ahead of May's European Elections.

     
  182.  
    20:15:
    Spin room BBC News channel chief political correspondent Norman Smith shows viewers the huddle of journalists around UKIP's director of communications Patrick O'Flynn.
     
  183.  
    20:16:

    The Lib Dem leader says he can't expect to change people's opinions overnight but he has begun to set out the arguments.

     
  184.  
    20:17:

    Now the first polling reaction is coming in. YouGov's snap poll gives the debate to Mr Farage by 68% to 27%, a larger margin than last week.

     
  185.  
    20:19:

    Norman Smith says tomorrow's newspaper headlines will be vital in deciding how people interpret the debate.

     
  186.  
    20:21:

    The Independent's Donald McIntyre says Mr Clegg's emotion was striking and he took the argument to his rival - but the UKIP leader was "still standing" at the end of the debate.

     
  187.  
    20:25:

    UKIP's communications director Patrick O'Flynn suggests Mr Farage won the debate "by a landslide", suggesting he was "almost Ronald Reaganesque" in his debating manner.

     
  188.  
    20:26:

    An interesting titbit from the UKIP camp. Mr Farage refrained from having a pre-debate pint this week, having to make do with a glass of BBC red wine apparently.

     
  189.  
    20:27:
    BBC studio
     
  190.  
    20:27:

    More views from the press pack. The Mirror's Kevin Maguire says Mr Clegg "landed a lot of blows" but the Daily Mail's Andrew Pierce says it was a "massive defeat" for the Lib Dem leader.

     
  191.  
    20:29:

    The Mirror's Kevin Maguire says the score is now one-all and there should be a third debate to decide the victor - likening the prospect to a penalty shoot-out.

     
  192.  
    20:35:

    An instant Guardian/ICM poll also suggests that Mr Farage emerged on top - by a margin of 69% to 31%.

     
  193.  
    20:37:
    Polling graphic
     
  194.  
    20:38:

    What do the Tories make of the debate? MP John Redwood says Mr Clegg was "far too shouty" and relied on "dodgy statistics" and a mischaracterisation of his opponent.

     
  195.  
    20:39:

    John Redwood says the UKIP leader had a powerful argument but no means of delivering a referendum - unlike a future Conservative majority government which will do so.

     
  196.  
    20:41:

    Nick Clegg won the debate "very handsomely", Lib Dem party president Tim Farron says, claiming it took real bravery on Mr Clegg's part to put the case for the "unpopular side" of the argument.

     
  197.  
    20:42: Sophy Ridge, Sky News

    tweets: Audience member tells me she found it hard tonight as she is "pro Europe but anti Clegg"

     
  198.  
    20:43:

    Asked about the challenge facing pro-Europeans, Lib Dem Tim Farron says it will be an "uphill struggle" but advocates of EU membership must state their case passionately.

     
  199.  
    20:44:

    An interesting addendum to those early poll numbers. Apparently a third of Lib Dem supporters and half of pro-Europeans canvassed thought Mr Farage triumphed.

     
  200.  
    20:45:

    Green Party leader Natalie Bennett says: "On the subject of wind turbines and shale gas, Nigel Farage was, as in so much of tonight's debate, living in a fantasy world. His claim, repeating David Cameron, that shale gas would be cheap, making a comparison to US prices, is demonstrably nonsense."

     
  201.  
    20:46:

    The BBC's Ben Wright is speaking to two MEPs in Brussels. Socialist Ana Gomes, from Portugal, accuses the UKIP leader of "scaremongering and lying" and not representing true British values.

     
  202.  
    20:48:

    Swedish MEP Christofer Fjellner, from the Moderate Party, tells the BBC the debate was "overly simplistic" but he was more impressed by Nick Clegg than his opponent, suggesting that leaving the EU is not a serious option.

     
  203.  
    20:50:

    The first reaction from Labour. MP Emily Thornberry says she had "low expectations" before the debate but it was "better" than she had thought it would be. In the end, however, it was a "sideshow" compared with the debate the opposition wants next year between Ed Miliband and David Cameron.

     
  204.  
    20:52:

    Speaking to the BBC News Channel, Emily Thornberry characterises the debate as an encounter "between a man people do not really trust and a man people do not really want".

     
  205.  
    20:55:

    The BBC's Jane Hill is speaking to members of the live audience. Francesca says she was not impressed by either man, believing they were "both reading off a sheet" of pre-prepared answers.

     
  206.  
    20:57:

    Another audience member, Elizabeth, says both men were "playing to the gallery" and she is still "on the fence" regarding the UK's future in Europe.

     
  207.  
    21:04:

    Giving her reaction, Conservative defence minister Anna Soubry says Mr Clegg was the "more positive" of the two but he does not want "any change" in the UK's relationship with Brussels. She insists her party is united on delivering a referendum on Europe in 2017.

     
  208.  
    21:09:

    The BBC's Norman Smith said the polls so far have given a "big chunky majority" in favour of the UKIP leader.

     
  209.  
    21:12: The Guardian's Andrew Sparrow

    tweets: 38% of viewers more likely to vote Ukip after #NickvNigel, Guardian ICM poll shows - 17% less likely, 37% no diff

     
  210.  
    21:15:

    Lib Dem blogger Stephen Tall says Mr Clegg "outclassed" the UKIP leader last week, but he believes this week's encounter was "much more evenly matched".

     
  211.  
    21:16: Nigel Farage UKIP leader

    tweets: Come and join our peoples army, let's topple the establishment who got us into this mess

     
  212.  
    21:20:

    According to Eurosceptic Labour MP Gisela Stuart, both parties could be considered winners from tonight's tussle but UKIP - based around Mr Farage's "seductively simple and clear" message - is now a real threat to all the other parties.

     
  213.  
    21:25:

    The Spectator's James Forsyth says Nick Clegg changed tactics and tried to "behave like the challenger to Farage's incumbent". The Lib Dems' objective, he suggested, was not to "win" the battle but to appeal to pro-European voters and enthuse party activists.

     
  214.  
    21:34:

    Labour blogger Dan Hodges said Nick Clegg came out with all guns blazing, putting his opponent on "the back foot". While he thinks Nigel Farage recovered in the second half of the debate, he still calls the encounter for the Lib Dem leader.

     
  215.  
    21:37:

    The pundits will be picking over the runes of the debate for hours and days to come. We are ending our live coverage now but you can get more reaction on the BBC News Channel. Thanks for joining us.

     
  216.  

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