David Cameron has insisted a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union will not create "uncertainty" for businesses.
The prime minister said he believed it would be a mistake to have a vote now but believed he could negotiate a better deal by the time one was held.
Mr Cameron has promised an "in-out" vote by the end of 2017 if the Conservatives win the next election.
But the Liberal Democrats oppose holding a referendum.
Mr Cameron has come under pressure from many backbench Tory MPs to hold a vote and has promised to do so after a thorough renegotiation of the country's relationship with Brussels.
A private member's bill calling for a referendum, proposed by Conservative James Wharton, was backed in principle by the House of Commons earlier this month.
But most Labour and Lib Dem MPs stayed away and it is expected to face far stiffer opposition at later stages in its parliamentary progress.
Taking part in a Cameron Direct question-and-answer session at Crewe's Bentley car plant, the prime minister was asked whether the possibility of a referendum would create uncertainty among businesses.
He replied: "I think a greater uncertainty would be to put your head in the sand and pretend there isn't a problem with Europe. There is a problem and I'm going to fix it."
Mr Cameron also reiterated his belief that the UK would not adopt the single currency, saying: "I don't think we are ever going to have the euro. I don't think we should have the euro. We are better off with pounds sterling"