Britain’s leading business group is using employers to warn hundreds of thousands of workers across the UK of the risks of Brexit, Sky News has learned.

Dozens of businesses – from Siemens to BT and Airbus – have written to employees explaining why their bosses want to remain part of Europe in a bid to swing the vote in favour of David Cameron’s government on 23 June.

The business lobby told Sky News that the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) members employing over 800,000 workers have talked to staff about the implications of Brexit – and it expects more employers to engage with staff in the final weeks of the campaign.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI, insisted the initiative was “not about telling people how to vote” but rather a move by “responsible business leaders” to explain to staff “what impact a Brexit would have on company growth, their jobs and their communities”.

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