Three-quarters of the Institute of Directors' (IoD) members support David Cameron's use of his veto power to block a new European Union treaty, despite widespread fears that the move has left the UK with diminished bargaining power in Brussels.
Around 77% of those surveyed by the IoD agreed with the decision, taken as EU member states debated a Franco-German plan to bring about closer fiscal and economic integration in the eurozone and the wider European Union.
“The UK’s relationship with Europe is dominated by political and economic uncertainty but the business verdict is very clear," Graeme Leach, the IoD's head of policy said.
"Almost two-thirds of IoD members want to see a looser relationship with the EU. There are also significant groups of directors on the other side of the argument, with 29 per cent supporting the status quo and 7 per cent wanting to see more integration. The ongoing euro crisis is changing attitudes towards the EU and we simply don’t know what 2012 will bring”.
Cameron used the veto when his demands for protections for the City of London - branded by French President Nicolas Sarkozy as "unreasonable" - were not met.
Out of the ten EU member states not within the single currency, only the UK failed to back the final summit document, and critics warned that Cameron's action would not only fail to protect the financial services industry from future regulation, but would mean that the country had lost much of its ability to influence the future course of policy in the union.
In a finding that stands against the consensus view, more than half of those surveyed by the IoD said that their business was not being affected by the eurozone crisis.