London - Paying attention to your companion during a special meal out might be considered a basic courtesy.

But a survey reveals that for 68 percent of Britons, this is no longer the case, for they would happily take a cellphone call during a dinner date – even if they know it is not important.

The study reveals the rise of ‘Rude Britannia’ since the proliferation of smartphones, with 63 percent leaving their devices on the table while out for dinner with a friend.

More than a third of those questioned admitted they would struggle to live without their mobiles.

More than half (59 percent) keep their phones with them at all times, and 16 percent walk around with them in their hands all the time.

One in seven of the 1,000 people polled even take their phones to the toilet with them to send text messages or check Facebook.

“The British have always been synonymous with good manners and politeness”, said Hannah Bouckley of the mobile phone company Recombu, which conducted the study.

She added: “The research shows we are shunning our manners due to obsessive phone addiction.

“It was only 10 to 15 years ago when high earners and business people were the only owners of clunky mobile phones. Now everyone from young children to pensioners relies heavily on a mobile phone.

“If we are not accepting calls and texts at dinner, we are playing games, watching videos or organising our lives with them.”

The research suggests people Britain cannot bear to be separated from their smartphones, with more than a third admitting they would struggle to live without their mobiles.

Around a third - 35 percent - said they couldn't live without their television, 23 percent without their laptop, three percent would be at a loss if they did not have their iPod, and two percent would struggle without their tablet.

The survey also found Brits never want to miss anything, with more than half - 59 percent - keeping their phones on them at all times and 16 percent continuously walking around with their mobile in their hands.

One in seven of the 1,000 people polled (14 percent) even take their phone to the toilet with them to bash out a text or check Facebook while they are at work. - Daily Mail