Members of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) are in favour of Britain leaving the EU, according to two recent polls.

At the NFRN’s Annual Conference in Torquay, Devon, last week, 60.9% of delegates backed a Brexit while 39.1% said they believed that the UK should stay in the EU. In addition, a month-long poll on the NFRN website indicated that 63.2% of respondents said they would vote to leave in this week’s referendum. Just over a quarter (28.2%) said they would vote to remain, while 8.6% were undecided.

When asked whether they felt that EU membership had a negative impact on their businesses 62.4% agreed that it had, while just over a third (37.6%) disagreed, while an overwhelming 74.7% said that small businesses had been largely ignored by the European Union.

Commenting on the results, NFRN chief executive Paul Baxter said: “Just recently a survey by the IPSOS Mori Reputation Centre found that the British public wanted to hear the opinions of businesses, especially small and medium sized enterprises, on issues relating to the EU referendum rather than those of the media, bankers and politicians. Now independent retailers are sending out a very clear message that being in the European Union is bad for small businesses.

“When asked if being part of the EU has had a negative impact on their businesses and that their needs have been largely ignored during our years of membership, independent retailers have responded with a resounding yes. That’s hardly surprising, given the fact that more red tape and increasing business costs have led to thousands of small businesses closing and several high street chains collapsing during that period.

“As a result, an overwhelming majority of NFRN members have said they are backing a Brexit and will be voting to leave in this week’s referendum.”