OPINION: What did we learn from ITV’s EU Referendum Debate?

Remain or Leave, the two words which we will be faced with in the ballot booth on June 23.

Over the last four weeks campaigners from both sides have been putting their points across to try and persuade the voter to put an ‘x’ in their favour.

With only two weeks remaining before we, the voter, decides whether the United Kingdom should remain or leave the European Union, a number of television debates are beginning to take place.

One of which featured on ITV, where on June 9 three personnel from each of the respective sides listened and responded to questions from the audience.

For the Remain campaign, Nicola Sturgeon, Angela Eagle and Amber Rudd put their opinions across for remaining in the EU. One the Leave side, Andrea Leadsom, Gisela Stuart and Boris Johnson gave their personal responses.

As the debate got under way, both parties gave constructive and informative answers. Sadly, however, this wasn’t how the rest of the programme played out, as a number of personal attacks were launched from the Remain side towards the fellow counterparts, mainly in particular to the direction of Boris Johnson.

Nicola Sturgeon expressed her frustration of the Leave campaign’s slogan which features across their political bus. Over the previous weeks, Boris Johnson has had to defend the quote which says the UK’s membership of the EU costs £350m a week.

Ms Sturgeon commented on this and said: “It is a scandal that is still emblazoned across the campaign bus because it’s an absolute whopper.”

With both campaigns saying their counterparts were using scaremongering tactics to persuade voters, the pendulum swung from minute to minute as to who was claiming victory on the night.

As the debate got livelier, and slightly more heated, the Remain campaign began to get personal.

“I fear that the only number that Boris is interested in is the one that says No. 10,” said Ms Eagle to Mr Johnson, to which the former Mayor of London responded: “I’m sorry, I missed the insult.”

Despite two hours of flourished tempers and insults thrown towards Mr Johnson, the main figurehead for Leave stood tall and failed to let the comments trouble him. He and his fellow team members accused Remain of a “miserable” campaign and “getting personal” while avoiding the key issues.

As the debate drew to a close, each individual was given one minute to give a closing statement where Mr Johnson received another attack from Ms Eagle. However, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Amber Rudd’s performance didn’t go unnoticed by David Cameron who said she was a “star” and was “passionate and clear about why we are stronger in the EU.”

Shortly after the debate had finished, I cast a poll to gather people’s opinion as to who won the debate. Here are the results:

With 13 days remaining until we decide, there will undoubtedly be more twists and turns along the way.

 

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