Nick Clegg vs Nigel Farage, round 2: LIVE updates - Live coverage - The Independent

Nick Clegg vs Nigel Farage, round 2: LIVE updates

Full Fact, the independent fact-checking organisation, check the claims made by Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage during the second round of the Leaders' Debate, hosted by the BBC.


  • Welcome to Full Fact's live factcheck for the Independent of tonight's debate on the UK's membership of the EU. If you hear a claim from either Nick Clegg or Nigel Farage that you'd like us to check, then you can send us a tweet.
    4/2/2014 6:04:51 PM
  • Nigel Farage used his opening statement to complain about the proportion of UK law made in Brussels. According to the House of Commons Library:

    "it is possible to justify any measure between 15% and 50% or thereabouts”

    4/2/2014 6:07:30 PM
  • Mr Farage also says that the UK can't make its own trade deals because of its membership of the EU. Trade is an "exclusive competence" of the EU, which means it does make trade deals on behalf of member states.
    4/2/2014 6:09:53 PM
  • 4/2/2014 6:16:13 PM
  • Nick Clegg says the EU is the World's largest economy. He's correct, but only if you treat the 27 nations of the EU as a single 'economy'.
    4/2/2014 6:16:28 PM
  • 4/2/2014 6:17:49 PM
  • For more details about the proportion of UK law made in Brussels, see our fact sheet.
    4/2/2014 6:19:50 PM
  • Nick Clegg also referred to Nigel Farage's claim at last week's debate that 485m people could come to the UK. We asked UKIP for their source, but haven't heard back yet.
    4/2/2014 6:22:35 PM
  • Mr Farage and Mr Clegg also disagree on whether or not there are 29 million Romanians and Bulgarians who could move to these shores.

    As we've seen, the figures suggest that there are indeed 29 million Romanians and Bulgarians, but they're not all in Romania and Bulgaria: they're spread out across different EU countries.
    4/2/2014 6:24:05 PM
  • Nick Clegg says that 90% of the change in employment is accounted for by Brits. It's encouraging to see that he's avoided making the same mistake as last week, where he said '9 out of 10 new jobs' went to UK nationals. As we've seen, this isn't quite correct.
    4/2/2014 6:26:59 PM
  • Earlier in the debate, Nick Clegg claimed that 92% of the UK car industry want to stay in the EU

    We've tracked down the claim, which comes from a survey of members of the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), published today.

    Members were asked what would be best for their business if a referendum on the UK’s continued membership of the EU was held tomorrow. 58% said the best outcome was to stay in, and 34% said it would be to ‘stay in with reform’. That is the 92% Mr Clegg is referring to.

    4/2/2014 6:30:27 PM
  • Nigel Farage says that as a member of the EU, we're not able to have our own immigration policy.

    The EU creates a great deal of freedom when it comes to the free movement of its citizens, but it's not 'total' freedom; there are still some restrictions.

    The EU's free movement Directive is what allows people to travel between EU countries without needing a visa and stay there for up to three months. After that, though, people have to meet certain conditions if they want to stay in another country (e.g. having a job or being a relative of someone with a job).

    The single market provides for free movement of goods, services and 'capital' (investments, loans etc), although goods that pose public health risks are still regulated and member states can still treat non-residents differently for tax purposes.

    4/2/2014 6:32:22 PM
  • On Twitter @Kavmeister asks what proportion of UK trade is with the EU? Around half of our imports and exports are with EU nations. However these figures are contentious, as some claim that after reaching the EU these goods will be resold to consumers in other countries (the so-called "Rotterdam Effect").




    4/2/2014 6:39:40 PM
  • Nigel Farage claims the UK is represented in trade deals by an unelected "Dutch Bureaucrat".

    The European Commissioner responsible for trade is Karel De Gucht, although he is Belgian rather than Dutch.

    While not directly elected by the public, it’s not strictly true to say that no-one votes on the appointment of an European Commissioner. Every five years, member states are asked to propose a new candidate for Commissioner, but the appointment is only made if the candidates are approved by both the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. Nigel Farage himself actually voted against the appointment of the Commission in 2010. New appointments to the Commission will be made in October.

    4/2/2014 6:40:56 PM
  • Nigel Farage claims 70% of UK law comes from Brussels. This seems to be a misunderstanding of something said by EU Commissioner Viviane Reding, who has since clarified that she was talking about the proportion of EU law which the European Parliament has a say in. Full details here.
    4/2/2014 6:47:32 PM
  • Nick Clegg says his views haven't changed on an EU referendum.

    Nick Clegg wrote in favour of a referendum in a Guardian article in February 2008. In 2009 the Lib Dems' European election manifesto argued for a referendum on whether Britain stays or leaves the EU. The Lib Dems' 2010 general election manifesto promised an in/out referendum the next time there was a fundamental change in the relationship between the UK and the EU.
    4/2/2014 6:49:33 PM
  • Nigel Farage says the Deputy Prime Minister has presided over the the passing of powers over the financial services industry to the EU.

    Regulations have been introduced by the European Commission since the financial crisis in 2008 to "stabilise financial markets". This includes regulations on things such as the regulation and supervision of Alternative Investment Fund Managers (who manage things like hedge funds) in 2011, and the regulation of credit rating agencies in 2013.

    The UK government has blocked certain proposed changes, as in December 2011 when David Cameron vetoed a treaty on financial regulation (when proposals such as an EU-wide financial transaction tax - or 'Robin Hood tax' - were mooted). More recently, the UK undertook an unsuccessful legal challenge to regulations which sought to restrict or ban what's known as 'short-selling'.

    The Treasury has begun a review on the balance of competences in financial services between the UK and the EU.

    4/2/2014 6:51:35 PM
  • Nick Clegg says 3-4 million jobs are linked to the EU.

    The three million figure is out-of-date and relates to our exports to EU countries. Studies that have found this figure say clearly that it's not necessarily the number of jobs that would be lost if we left the EU, because it's assumed to an extent our exports would continue anyway. The four million figure he quotes is a more recent update to this figure, using the same methodology.

    We've covered this in depth, see our spotlight on the topic.

    4/2/2014 6:54:30 PM
  • Nigel Farage says membership of the EU "costs us £55 million a day." While this is the amount given to EU institutions by both public and private sources, it doesn't account for the money the UK receives back. If we factor this in, the net cost is closer to £33 million. If we look only at government contributions, the net contribution falls again to £24 million per day.




    4/2/2014 6:58:14 PM
  • Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage have now left the stage, but we'll still be online to check the claims being made in the spin room. If you've spotted something that we've missed, do tweet us and we'll do our best to get to the bottom of it.
    4/2/2014 7:00:37 PM
  • We're @FullFact on twitter, in case you missed the link below.
    4/2/2014 7:03:41 PM
  • One thing we have been looking into is Nick Clegg's claim that the EU employs fewer 'bureaucrats' than Derbyshire County Council.

    According to the ONS Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey, there were 36,519 public sector employees in Derbyshire County Council in the third quarter of last year. This compares to the 33,000 employed by the European Commission.

    These figures might not be comparable - many people employed in the public sector are not what most people would consider 'bureaucrats'.

    4/2/2014 7:05:46 PM
  • Thanks for reading and following the debate with us. Find out more about Full Fact and read more factchecks on our website. We'll be on Twitter @FullFact if you have any questions.

    Take a look at our videocheck of the first EU debate - factchecking and video streamed alongside each other - and look out for our follow up work over the next few days.

    Thanks to The Independent for hosting us tonight and to @Independent for tweeting our work throughout the debate.

    If you value this kind of work, we depend on your donations.
    4/2/2014 7:21:20 PM
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