A Tory campaign urging MPs to back an 'in/out' referendum on UK's membership of the EU spreads further uncertainty for everyone in the business community, Catherine Bearder MEP has said.
The Conservative party is keen to rally support for Tory MP James Wharton's Private Members' Bill, which calls for a referendum by the end of 2017.
But Catherine, a Lib Dem MEP for the South East, said it fuelled further uncertainty as the UK continued to rebuild its economy.
She said: "To say this is unhelpful to British business is an understatement. It puts lingering questions in the minds of investors who are not sure about the UK's future in the EU.
"The Single Market is worth £450 billion a year and 50 per cent of British trade is with other EU member states… something the Tories seem happy to jeopardise.
"The economy is still on the operating table and I would humbly suggest abandoning the world's biggest trading bloc would offer little to help the situation.
"We need to be at the heart of decisions which will impact on our economy and our jobs. Not shuffling around on the fringes hoping the EU will throw us a bone."
Catherine is tonight (Wednesday) meeting a delegation of British business people at an event organised by the British Chamber of Commerce in Strasbourg.
She added: "I am sure these people would not have taken time out form their work to meet MEPs if they did not think their interests are served by our full and active engagement in the EU."
Find out more about why membership of the EU is better for our jobs, our security and our environment at www.europe4prosperity.com