Should we stay, or is it time for the UK to leave?

Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give

ZELLA COMPTON: Teen novel made me realise my views are institutionalised

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With fewer than 100 days to go until the national referendum on whether or not the UK should remain in the EU, the battle lines are being drawn up.

The whole debate has even seen its own ugly portmanteau for a potential British exit – the Brexit – enter the lexicon.

With MPs allowed to vote according to their beliefs rather than to a party whip, there is much division within the main parties.

And nowhere is that as clear as here in Portsmouth, with the two Conservative MPs sitting on opposing sides of the fence.

Penny Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth North, has declared she is strongly in the ‘exit’ camp, against Prime Minister David Cameron, saying: ‘I have thought long and hard about this and what would be in the best interests of our city, our country and Europe itself.’

But Flick Drummond, MP for Portsmouth South has announced she will be fighting to keep us in the EU, saying: ‘I think the economic argument, being in the largest free market in the world without tariffs or import taxes, is very important for our businesses.’

Aside from the six founding member states of the EU’s forerunner, the EEC, the UK was admitted as part of the first wave of expansion in 1973.

During those 43 years, our relationship with our fellow member states has been far from smooth. But would we be better of leaving or staying?

The issues are many and complex, ranging from trade to the economy, to immigration and border control, as well as the UK’s potential influence on the world stage.

There are now 28 member states, which some say is too large and unwieldy a number.

We will make sure we keep you informed every step of the way until that crucial vote on June 23.