The U.K. gets an annual boost of up to £78 billion ($124 billion) as a result of belonging to the European Union (EU), one of the country’s biggest business lobbying groups said on Monday.
EU membership has become an increasingly contentious topic in the U.K., with detractors panning the 28-country union as overly bureaucratic and a threat to individual countries’ sovereignty. Political hostility towards the EU has grown in Britain since the onset of the financial crisis, and Prime Minister David Cameron agreed to hold a referendum on membership if his Conservative party wins a majority at the 2015 election.
However, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said the U.K. would be best off as a member of a “reformed” EU, and that membership was worth around 4-5 percent of the country’s annual gross domestic product (GDP), or £62-£78 billion.
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