European businesses overwhelmingly think that it's in the UK's best interests to remain in the EU, according to a new poll.
A poll by the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe (COBCOE) found that 89.3 per cent of its members think the UK is better off in the EU. Just 7.1 per cent stated it would be better for the UK to withdraw from the EU.
COBCOE represent around 8,000 businesses, large and small, operating mainly outside of the UK across Europe.
However, 92.9 per cent of those surveyed agreed that the EU is a "work in progress", needing to become more open, less bureaucratic, more competitive and responsive to the needs of the business community.
"This poll widens this seminally important debate to key European stakeholders and British trading partners. It is not our role to tell the British electorate how to vote. However the clear and pragmatic view of our membership, Britain’s commercial friends across Europe, is that the EU remains a “work in progress” and that it makes sense for the UK to remain a member," said COBCOE chairman David Thomas.
"Furthermore our members’ view is that the UK has a critical role arguing from the inside, for the benefit of both the UK and Europe, its key trading partner, for a more robust and open EU, able to compete effectively in the global market place," he added.
Some 85.7 per cent thought withdrawal from the EU would make trade and investment between the UK and Europe more difficult with 3.6 per cent believing it would help business and 10.7 per cent stating that it would not make much difference
The poll comes after a survey by Deloitte of over 100 finance chiefs found that three out of four are in favour of the UK staying in the EU.
The referendum is set to take place on 23 June.