NORTH-EAST businesses are uncertain over the UK's relationship with the EU, a report has revealed.

A survey from the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) says 69 per cent of firms questioned believe a withdrawal would hit business.

It said 52 per cent of companies disagree with a move away from the EU with negotiated trade agreements, with 51 per cent believing continued membership, with powers moving from Brussels to Westminster, being a positive change.

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Lucy Humphreys, NECC policy adviser, said: “These results demonstrate businesses are starting to cool on proposals for a renegotiated relationship with Europe, but the vast majority remains opposed to a UK withdrawal from the EU.

“It appears that businesses are less concerned about the UK’s relationship.

“It’s also apparent that our firms want to remain in the EU and are against leaving it in any way, shape or form.

“The amount of businesses saying they don’t know how these potential scenarios will affect the UK’s future should set alarm bells ringing in political parties.

“They must ensure that debate over the UK's future place in Europe must be rooted in hard evidence and good information and not point-scoring.”