PANELISTS speaking at The Argus EU Debate fought to convince the younger members of the audience which way to vote.

The support of those aged under 35 has been described as 'crucial' because they are believed to be the group set on supporting the Remain camp.

At the debate held at the Clarendon Centre on Wednesday night, Leave campaigner and Freedom Association director Rory Broomfield suggested young people had fallen victim to the EU's policies which had caused unemployment.

Mr Broomfield said the implementation of common European Commission policies across the Eurozone had damaged the prospects for young people in countries in southern Europe.

He added: “It has led to half of Greeks being unemployed including a lot of young people, similar high levels of youth unemployment in Spain, Portugal and elsewhere around the EU and they will keep on doing it.”

South East MEP Daniel Hannan, also supporting Leave, added: "What about the tens of millions of young people without work who are now having to come here because they have been sacrificed on the altar of political integration."

But Hove MP Peter Kyle said it was easy to blame young people being out of work in this country on EU migrants coming to the UK.

He said: “The truth is young people are finding it hard to get into our economy because our education system is giving them the wrong skills.

“We have a Government hell bent on going back to basics when business really want schools to invest in soft skills, emotional skills as well as academic rigour.”

Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas added "young people are the lifeblood of this city" and "more insecurity is the last thing they want", which she claimed leaving the EU would bring.

Ivor Gaber, who chaired the debate, said: “The race for younger voters is crucial.

"They are definitely more likely to vote remain if they can be bothered to vote which is why some hardliners like John Redwood are very unhappy that the Government agreed to extend the deadline for registration until last night."

Meanwhile, audience member Kane Picasso said the debate helped change his mind on how to vote.

The 25-year-old from Brighton said he was put off by the "aggressive" tone and "misinformation" coming from the Leave campaign and said he had concerns what Brexit would have on a multi-cultural city like Brighton.

He said: "I wanted to leave because they said Britain would be better off economically, we'd have more money, salaries would go up, but there's no certainty with that."

The debate took place on the day the deadline to register to vote was extended until midnight last night following a website error.

It has been reported the decision to extend the deadline could lead to almost 20,000 more remain votes.

Due to the age breakdown of latecomers who made applications on Wednesday - after the initial deadline - there is likely to be more people aged under 35 registered.

Additional reporting: Ben Perkins, James Aldridge and Ginny Sanderson