Responding to surveys that suggest as few as 3% of manufacturers and 28% of service sector leaders understand the implications of EU reforms on their own businesses, Keith Bryan, Chief Executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is clear that with the referendum imminent, many private sector leaders do not have enough information to assess the impact on their business of either staying in or leaving the EU.

“Our role is not to tell business leaders what to think: our role is to ensure that when they talk to their employees about the implications of voting either way, they can do so with integrity. Both campaigns have started weakly and I am concerned that we have a long way to go before we can assure educated voting.

“We will be holding the first of our EU Referendum events on 29th April at the Molineux Stadium, starting at 07:30 and we will have speakers in favour of staying in and leaving the EU putting their messages across. We will also be using neutral economists to put across facts and figures demonstrating the likely impact the outcomes of the referendum may have on the economy.

“According to a recent British Chambers of Commerce survey of West Midlands businesses, if the referendum were held tomorrow; 50% of members would vote for Britain to stay in the EU and 38% would vote for Britain to leave the EU.”