WORCESTER'S retailers have been urged to think long and hard about what impact a Brexit could have on them if voters back Leave.

Adrian Field, who runs Worcester's Business Improvement District (BID), says retailers need to consider what quitting the EU could do for tourism.

The body, which represents city shops and other businesses, is going to stay neutral ahead of the big vote on June 23.

But Mr Field told the Worcester News it is crucial city centre traders have their say in the crunch referendum.

"It's not something that's come up within the BID but everyone has to think about it and what it means," he said.

"You do think about tourism - in terms of the numbers of people visiting the city, would the people who need visas to get here still come in?

"I know in the last 12 months it's now easier for people from China to come in, under an exit would people still come to what is a tourist city.

"But nobody has been banging on our door, everyone has their individual preferences and it will be up to businesses."

He also said he felt a lot of retailers were still confused by all the "guesswork" around the debate, just like millions of voters.

He said: "A lot of the lower skilled employees in the city centre are from Europe and there is a debate to be had around if these roles weren't filled, would British people do it?

"Then there is a fear of the unknown and a lot of guesswork, I suppose, and a bit of scaremongering.

"Some people have expressed a view but we haven't felt the need to."

It comes as experts said he uncertainty over the EU is placing some stress on retail sales.

Clothing retailer Next warned last month that this year could be the most difficult since 2008, the start of the financial crisis.

Even Primark, which has outpaced the rest of the market, has called its UK conditions "challenging".

But the Centre for Retail Research is also staying neutral on it, saying it believes the benefits to either quitting or staying in the EU are marginal for shops.

Retailers such as Marks & Spencer, Burberry, Kingfisher, Kurt Geiger, Mothercare, Ocado, Ann Summers and ASDA are all backing Remain.

But the likes of Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Tesco, Iceland, the Co-op, Booths, House of Fraser, John Lewis and Sports Direct have not waded in.