It has been a highly anticipated event, #GraziaxFB's Brexit debate, chaired by The Guardian's political editor Anushka Asthana, featuring Labour's Stella Creasy and Yvette Cooper MP for Remain, and Conservative's Penny Mordaunt and Theresa Villiers for Vote Leave.
At the start of the debate, each panellist gave an impassioned 4-minute speech about why they believe the UK should either remain in or exit the European Union.
Yvette Cooper for Remain opened, criticising Vote Leave for pitching Brexit as the dream divorce where you can 'keep the house and the joint income, and see the kids whenever you want, and not have to pay anything for their upkeep.'
Penny Mordant for Vote Leave followed, asking 'why does democracy matter?'. 'What happens when those who make our laws, spend our money and deploy our armed forces are not accountable to us?' she said, before positing that the referendum is about 'taking back control'.
Stella Creasy was hot on her tail, arguing the debate was about three issues – first, the EU being what the UK makes of it. Second, what the consequences of leaving would be (if trade deals were negotiated, for example, would they be any good?). And finally, would the UK 'be more likley to [...] help those people who are struggling right now in this country on our own – or with our strength magnified because we're part of a team?'
Finally, Theresa Villers took to the floor to reveal that following 6 years as an MEP in Brussels, she had concluded the EU was 'unreformable'. 'No matter what we do, no matter what we say... it's always going to be about creating a United States of Europe, and that's a destination we, in this country, have never been comfortable with.'
Anushka then took charge and asked questions put forward by audience members ahead of time – including a few of posted in real time via Facebook on the live video of the debate.
Such questions included: would Brexit put women's rights at risk, would a vote to leave trigger a second Scottish referendum, and if the UK does leave the EU, what the consequences would be for the NHS.
To hear how the MPs responded, watch the debate here.
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