By Jonathan Davies

An in-out referendum on the UK's membership with the European Union will not harm the country's economy, according to the Prime Minister David Cameron.

Speaking to business leaders at the CBI Annual Conference today (Monday), the Prime Minister said a renegotiated deal would be better for "shareholders and customers".

The Conservative party has promised to hold a referendum on the the UK's membership in 2017, if they win the general election in May 2015.

And Mr Cameron rejected the idea that a referendum would de-stabilise the economy.

He said: "If there has been uncertainty, why is it that there has been such an extraordinary period of investment into our country?" he told the conference.

"The worst thing for us to do as a country is to pretend that this European debate is not happening. The best thing is to get out there and make the arguments."

He added: "Simply standing here and saying 'I will stay in Europe, I will stick with whatever we have, come what may' is not a plan. It is not a strategy, it will not work."

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