British business will not be harmed by a U.K. exit from the European Union, the leader of Britain's eurosceptic U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) told CNBC -- despite the latest survey showing the vast majority of manufacturers in favor of remaining in Europe.
"The fact is this country trades at a massive deficit with Europe. They sell us far more Mercedes and bottles of champagne than we sell them bottled beers and cars made here," Farage told CNBC, adding, "They need us more than we need them."
In a survey published Monday, U.K. manufacturing trade body EEF found that 85 percent of its members would vote to stay in the EU, with only 7 percent of companies voting to leave. The remaining 8 percent responded "don't know."
"Despite the continued challenges faced by the euro zone, manufacturers remain overwhelmingly of the view that our economic welbeing is inextricably linked to the EU and we must stay in membership," EEF CEO Terry Sculoer said in a statement.
But Farage told CNBC the EEF was "just plain wrong."
"You know, they are part of the big corporate set in Brussels," Farage said. "They are dependent on Brussels to pick the crumbs from the table. They don't want to show any opposition to it."
"We see this again and again and again, whether it's them or the CBI," Farage added. "We see trade bodies, or representative groups of trade bodies saying one thing, and when you go around the back and you poll the individual companies, you get a very different picture."
Farage spoke to CNBC late Friday at a metal casting site in Doncaster, England, on the second day of the UKIP National Conference. The three-day event saw more than a dozen speeches covering policy proposals on everything from U.K.-only immigration queues at airports to a scrapping of income taxes for workers on the minimum wage.
But over the weekend, it was the defection of lawmaker Mark Reckless from the Conservative Party to UKIP that drew the biggest headlines.
On Saturday, Reckless told conference attendees that he was frustrated with the Conservatives' European policies and had resigned as a Member of Parliament, triggering a by-election in his district of Rochester and Strood. Reckless is the second Tory MP to switch to UKIP in less than two months; Douglas Carswell announced his defection in August, and will seek to defend his seat as a UKIP candidate in a by-election in Clacton in October.