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updated: 1/9/2013 6:22 AM

Business leaders warn David Cameron on EU

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Associated Press

LONDON -- Top U.K. executives are warning Prime Minister David Cameron that he could damage the country's economy by inadvertently taking the country out of the European Union.

In a letter published Wednesday in the Financial Times, Virgin Group's Richard Branson, London Stock Exchange head Chris Gibson-Smith and eight other business leaders are challenging Cameron's plan to renegotiate the U.K.'s membership terms of the 27-country EU and put the matter to a referendum. The executives warn that such a plan could fail, pushing the U.K. out of the EU and hitting business.

Tough economic times are forcing the 17 EU countries that use the euro to move ever closer -- creating a more powerful union that could affect how much non-euro members spend -- something Britain's leaders are against.

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