David Cameron insisted the UK should fight for its future inside the European Union rather than "quitting" as he claimed Leave campaigners were prepared to sacrifice people's jobs to secure their dream of Brexit.
However the Prime Minister was accused of telling "five outright lies" by Vote Leave campaigners as he answered questions in the latest TV referendum grilling.
Appearing live on ITV, Mr Cameron was challenged over issues of sovereignty, with one audience member saying it was a "disgrace" that laws were made by "unelected bureaucrats" in Brussels and the Supreme Court could be overruled by European judges.
The PM acknowledged that sometimes the EU "can drive me mad, it is a bureaucracy, it is frustrating" but "walking away, quitting, would reduce our national influence, would reduce our economy, would reduce our say in the world and as a result would damage our country".
He told the audience: "You hear a lot of talk about patriotism in this referendum.
"As far as I'm concerned I love this country with a passion, I think we are an amazing country and I say if you love your country then you don't damage its economy, you don't restrict opportunities for young people, you don't actually isolate your country and reduce its influence in the world."
Warning that Brexit could lead to Scotland separating from the UK he said: "You don't strengthen your country by leading to its break-up."
Nigel Farage insisted that the cost of EU membership outweighs any benefits as he dismissed warnings about the potential economic impact of Brexit.
He said that "no deal" on trade "is better than the rotten deal we have got at the moment".
The Ukip leader faced hostile questions from some audience members, who accused him of "encouraging racism" and said his message had "gone against people who look non-white".
But he insisted freedom of movement rules were "damaging all of our communities" and that there was "strong support" for his stance among ethnic minority voters.
Brexit would be "better for black people" seeking to come to Britain, Mr Farage said as he complained the Leave campaign was being falsely "demonised" as racist.
He played down reports suggesting migrant workers contribute more to the economy than they take out - and accused Remain supporters of focusing too much on economic impacts.
"The real truth is that the population of this country is rising at a number where we need to value people's quality of life and standard of living and not just national GDP figures," he said.
The Prime Minister went into the ITV show accusing opponents of a series of "complete untruths" and urging voters to "listen to the experts".
But Vote Leave chief executive Matthew Elliott said it was the PM who was misleading voters.
"This morning David Cameron called for more honesty in the EU debate but tonight he told five outright lies," he said.
"He lied about being able to remove EU jobseekers without a job after six months, our ability to stop foreign criminals walking into the UK, our ability to deport foreign criminals, his pledge to restrict benefits and how much his Government is investing in the NHS.
"He still claims that Turkey won't join the EU while his Government is spending £1 billion to help speed up their membership.
"The truth is you can't trust anything David Cameron says on the EU."