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the cam­paign to re­main, say­ing: “Our pref­er­ence as a busi­ness is, of course, that the UK stays within Europe.”

Mr Cameron went on: “Ob­vi­ously we have got to lis­ten to other voices, but when we lis­ten to busi­nesses we are not just lis­ten­ing to what some big busi­ness chief might say, we are ac­tu­ally lis­ten­ing to the ef­fect on jobs, to the ef­fect on fam­i­lies’ fi­nances, to the ef­fect on pros­per­ity for our coun­try and for all our peo­ple.”

But Mr Cameron was forced to de­fend us­ing a Down­ing Street civil ser­vant to lobby busi­nesses to sup­port the pro-EU cam­paign af­ter MPs heard the let­ter was about to be pub­lished.

Leave.EU co-founder Richard Tice said: “We re­mem­ber well how many large busi­nesses and EU-funded groups like the CBI said we should join the euro. How wrong they were.

“The truth is that de­spite the bul­ly­ing of a prime min­is­ter who has no real busi­ness ex­pe­ri­ence, it is other nor­mal com­mer­cial fac­tors which will de­ter­mine the con­tin­ued suc­cess of Bri­tish busi­nesses to in­vest and grow.”

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