A survey of North East businesses has revealed concerns over the impact for growth and exports if the UK leaves the European Union.
A majority of those polled in the North East Chamber of Commerce survey said they currently plan to vote in favour of staying in the EU in the planned referendum.
However, nearly half say that the results of the Prime Minister’s renegotiation of Britain’s membership could yet sway the way they plan to vote.
The survey showed 38 per cent of NECC members believe leaving the EU would have a slight or strong negative impact on growth, with 10 per cent reckoning the effect would be positive.
Thirty six per cent of respondents forecast a slight or strong negative impact on exports and international trade from exit, with only seven per cent predicting these aspects would be improved.
Overall, 61 per cent said they would vote to stay in the EU if a referendum was held tomorrow, with 30 per cent saying they would vote to leave.
But 49 per cent of members said it was very or somewhat likely that the outcome of the Prime Minister’s renegotiation would affect the way they vote when the referendum is held.