The bosses at more than a third of Britain's biggest companies say leaving the European Union would put the economy at risk, backing Prime Minister David Cameron's call for Britain to vote to stay in the June referendum. David Pollard reports.
The debate, says David Cameron, should remain civil. Already, though, the sleeves are being rolled up for a long Brexit battle ahead. The warning shot this time: jobs. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "Three million jobs are dependent on our trade with Europe. Now of course not all those jobs would go if we left the European Union, we'd still do trade with Europe, but can we really put our hands on hearts and say all those jobs would be safe?" With the defection of several cabinet colleagues from his pro-EU camp, the British prime minister needs friends. And some have appeared. UK bosses including 36 FTSE 100 chiefs warn that a British vote to leave the EU would put the economy at risk. A large number of bosses didn't sign up - but Fitch and Moody's have also issued their warnings on the negative knock-on for UK credit ratings. Rabobank's Jane Foley. SOUNDBITE (English) SENIOR FX STRATEGIST, RABOBANK, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "Many investors perhaps would just prefer it to stay on the sidelines until a little bit more clarity about the UK's economic and political landscape came through. Now, if of course many investors stay on the sidelines or just push investments into other countries, the UK really could see a deficit of investment just because of the uncertainty, irrespective of what happens." Mark Carney, meanwhile, is taking note of movements in sterling. The Bank of England is without judgment, he says, over the outcome of June's IN/OUT vote. Sterling traders are less sanguine - they sold the currency to a seven-year low on Monday - the first major trading day since the referendum date was declared.