Stewart Dickson MLA said: “As a whole, the UK benefits from its membership of the European Union. This benefit is multiplied in Northern Ireland due to our access to programmes such as the current Peace III and INTERREG, which have provided hundreds of millions of pounds for our local economy and infrastructure.
“It is clear that the current debate within Conservative Party is more to do with fears about the rise of UKIP than about the economics of our EU membership.
“The letter signed by leading businesses such as BT, Shell, Lloyds, and CBI demonstrates the economic arguments why we should continue to be a member of the EU.
“We need to stop playing party politics with such an important issue. The current debate is increasing uncertainty for our economy, particularly for potential investors who may be deterred from investing in the UK for fear that we may leave the EU in the near future.”