This week Britons will vote on whether to remain in the European Union or to "Brexit".

Many say that fear of immigration has been at the heart of what has been a vicious campaign, with supporters and opponents of Brexit accusing each other of lies, smears and even racism.

Those campaigning to leave the EU see its relaxed immigration laws as a threat and argue that the European Parliament has crippled the UK's political independence. The "Remain" campaign on the other hand says that immigration has a positive effect on the economy because migrants pay more in taxes than they take out. Both sides also put forward strong political and economic arguments to support their positions.

So, would the UK be better off sealing its borders or staying in the EU? In this special debate, recorded before the killing of British MP Jo Cox, Daniel Hannan, a Conservative Party member, Member of the European Parliament, and author of Why Vote Leave, debates with Denis MacShane, a former UK MP for Labour, who served as Europe Minister under Tony Blair and is author of Let's Stay Together.

Editor's note: This debate was recorded prior to the killing of British opposition MP Jo Cox.

Follow UpFront on Twitter @AJUpFront and Facebook.

Source: Al Jazeera