IT IS the issue that has divided the nation, and the party in power next will decide the country’s future with or without the European Union.

Basingstoke residents voted in a similar way to the rest of the country in the 2016 referendum, and it was clear from the cheers and hisses during a debate on Brexit that the audience was evenly split on the matter.

A question from a Twitter follower prompted the heated discussion on Brexit, with all candidate revealing the way they would vote if there was another referendum.

Only Mr Stone said he had voted to leave in the 2016 referendum, and Mrs Miller was the only candidate to have changed her mind, saying she would now vote leave.

There was lots of heckling from the audience as the candidates debated Brexit and whether there should be another referendum.

Mr Jenkin received cheers when he said: “I believe we belong in the EU. One of the reasons I joined the Green party is because they are staunch remainers… we deserve another vote and to put what’s happened behind us and move on and create a more united UK.”

Mr Mylvaganam made it clear the Lib Dems are a “remain party” adding: “We didn’t dither like Labour or switch around like the Tories. Lib Dem are a remain party full stop, chapter closed.”

He believes the referendum was “advisory” adding: “I’m a passionate believer in the UK and I don’t want this country divided.”

Mrs Miller said she had changed her mind because she is “appalled by the way our country has been treated by the EU over the last three years”.

She claimed another referendum would “do more to damage our democracy”.

Mr Stone said he fought as a UKIP party member for the referendum, adding: “If there’s another referendum I would be disgusted, we have had one.”

Having voted to remain, Mrs Marchant said: “Labour is the only party that trusts the people to make the final decision.”

However, a heckler responded: “How many do you want? Best of three?”