EU referendum
UK businesses are split over the Brexit referendum Getty

In less than two months Britons head to the polls to determine whether the UK should remain part of the European Union, the political battle has intensified, with a number of high profile figures throwing their support behind one of the two campaigns.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne have repeatedly stated Britain should remain in the 28-country bloc, while the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, UKIP leader Nigel Farage and Michael Gove support the Leave campaign.

A number of business organisations, including the International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development have warned of the risks that could follow a Brexit, as have a number of high profile foreign political figures.

US President Barack Obama said the UK would be at the "back of the queue" for any trade deal with the US if the country broke away from the EU. Obama's words has also echoed the cautionary advice from a number of prominent business leaders.

In February, 200 chief executives, including those from a third of Britain's biggest firms, wrote a letter to The Times to publicly declare their support for the campaign aiming to keep UK in the European Union.

The bosses of Asda, Kingfisher, BT, Vodafone and Marks & Spencer were among the signatories, although the CEOs of Barclays, Sainsbury's and Tesco declined to sign the document, with the latter saying the referendum was "a matter for the British people to decide".

In the same month, Centrica's chief executive Iain Conn said Britain had to stay in Europe in order to keep energy prices down, while BP's chief executive Bob Dudley said Brexit would threaten investment in the UK. Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary has also backed the pro-European campaign.

Earlier this month, the City of London Corporation warned that leaving the EU would hurt London's role as a global financial centre, as the main European lenders could opt to move elsewhere. Mark Boleat, who is the political leader of the financial district's municipal body, said Lloyds of London, HSBC, JP Morgan, Barclays and Citigroup have warned of job losses and possible relocation if Britain leaves the EU.

However, a number of businesses have come out strongly in support of the Leave camp, claiming Britain would be much better off outside the EU. In March, the Vote Leave campaign group posted a list of 250 businesses that wanted Britain to leave the 28-country union.

The list included former HSBC chief executive Michael Geoghegan, JD Wetherspoon founder and chairman Tim Martin, hotelier Sir Rocco Forte, Luke Johnson and the chairman of Patisserie Valerie. However, the Eurosceptic group faced embarrassment when it emerged that the founder of Phones 4u John Caudwell and the co-founder of The Carphone Warehouse had been mistakenly included as signatories.