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ONLY six per cent of industry body Scottish Engineering’s member companies want the UK to leave the European Union, with more than three-quarters wishing to remain in the free trade bloc, a survey has shown.

The revelation of this overwhelming preference for staying in the EU comes hard on the heels of an ORB opinion poll, published on Friday, showing 55 per cent support for Brexit among the UK public and only 45 per cent backing for remaining in the free trade bloc.

In the Scottish Engineering survey, 78 per cent of member companies favoured staying in the EU, with 16 per cent of respondents expressing no preference.

Meanwhile, a survey published today by recruitment company Manpower shows Scottish companies’ expectations of overall jobs growth have fallen back, with Brexit fears cited as a key factor.

Bryan Buchan, chief executive of Scottish Engineering, emphasised his organisation’s survey had covered companies of all sizes.