General Election 2019: what you need to know today - and party leaders on Question Time

The main party leaders will continue their election campaigns across the country today before going head-to-head in a television debate - all this and more in today’s election briefing.

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Here is what to expect on the election trail today:

Conservatives

Boris Johnson will take a trip to Nottinghamshire, having already visited the county several times since campaigning began.

Earlier this month, the PM visited King's Mill Hospital, where he announced plans for an NHS visa to make it easier for overseas doctors and nurses to work in the UK.

He has also knocked on doors in Mansfield in a bid to boost the election cause of Tory candidate Ben Bradley.

The Tories have yet to officially unveil their election manifesto, but revealed plans this morning for a higher stamp duty rate for non-UK residents, which aims to help more Britons get on the housing ladder.

Labour

After launching Labour's election manifesto on Thursday, leader Jeremy Corbyn will be campaigning in the Midlands on Friday.

He will be hoping for a positive reception to his vision for government, which was laid out during a half-hour speech in Birmingham.

Jeremy Corbyn tells Labour manifesto launch that people are giving up on politics - they feel the system is rigged“This party, this movement, this manifesto is different” pic.twitter.com/L0y3uCuB3x

— Paris Gourtsoyannis (@thistlejohn) November 21, 2019

The manifesto, titled It's Time For Real Change, depicted what Mr Corbyn called the "most radical and ambitious plan to transform our country in decades", and pledged to invest in public services, take action to tackle climate change and return key utilities to public ownership.

Mr Corbyn will also urge eligible voters to register before the deadline. He's expected to say: "To achieve real change, I'm calling on people to take just five minutes to get registered so they can make sure that their voice is heard.

"Over nine million eligible voters are still not registered to vote - that's one-sixth of the voting population. We want to make the next five days the biggest voter registration drive that our country has ever seen."

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Liberal Democrats

The Lib Dem tour bus will take a trip to Scotland, as leader Jo Swinson is joined by Willie Rennie, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, and activists in Glasgow.

The party announced late on Thursday that a Lib Dem government would commit to building 300,000 new homes a year. A third of the homes would be social rented homes, with a £10 billion capital infrastructure investment to support this.

More manifesto launches

Meanwhile, several other parties are due to unveil their election manifestos today, including Scottish Labour and Plaid Cymru. The Brexit Party is also scheduled to launch its policies which they are expected to call their 'contract with the people'.

Leaders to appear on Question Time special

To end the day, the leaders of the Tories, Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP will appear on a BBC Question Time leaders' special from 7pm.

The one-off episode will be filmed in Sheffield and will see Mr Johnson, Mr Corbyn, Ms Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon have half an hour each to debate with a live studio audience.

Britain 'won't go back to normal' after Brexit

Sir Keir Starmer has said Britain "won't go back to normal" after Brexit or a vote to remain.

During a meeting in support of Edinburgh Labour candidate Ian Murray, Sir Keir said, regardless of the decision made after his party's proposed second referendum, the country will remain divided.

The claim comes on the same day his party released its manifesto with a promise to negotiate a new deal with the EU and hold a second referendum on the issue within six months.

The shadow Brexit secretary said the only way to unite the country will be to take action to ensure people no longer feel disenfranchised.

Sir Keir told the meeting: "Anybody who thinks that the deal with Europe is going to resolve the issue, needs to think again.

"This isn't going to be resolved. There isn't going to be a happy day, when it's either the deal or remain is decided and it just goes back to normal. That's never going to happen."

Hot take: The view from Northern Ireland

"Since its creation 98 years ago, Northern Ireland’s politics has been starkly different to that of either Great Britain or what is now the Republic of Ireland.

"With an existential threat to the new state, it was inevitable that political debate would be focused on whether the Irish border should exist at all rather than the finer points of policy as to what happened on the northern side of that border.

"For decades, elections were quasi-border polls, with the Official Unionist Party kept in power not because of its policies or its record in government, but because it supported the Union.Likewise, the nationalist party was not elected because of its economic or social policies but on its belief that the only way to make politics work on the island of Ireland was to remove the border.

There was a complacency among some unionists who believed that pacts were effectively a secret weapon for unionism & nationalism could not respond in like manner. To the shock of some DUP members & others, that belief has been blown away in this election.https://t.co/7Lq7R9x83i

— Sam McBride (@SJAMcBride) November 18, 2019

"Fast-forward to the decade after power-sharing devolution was restored in 2007: In a vastly more competitive political environment and with responsibility for most public services, elections were increasingly fought on arguments about who had performed well or poorly in government, alongside the hoary old arguments about unionism and nationalism.

"But with the collapse of devolution in 2017 leaving politicians shorn of any responsibility to govern and then with Brexit introducing unexpectedly sudden constitutional uncertainty, it is the familiar arguments about the border which have returned to dominate political discourse – even if sometimes camouflaged as a position on Brexit."