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Unilever bosses back EU remain

21 June 2016 by

Existing and past bosses of nutrition, hygiene and personal care brands supplier Unilever UK have said the firm would be negatively impacted by Brexit.

According to a BBC News story today, a spokesperson who said he was responding to questions about the future from employees and pensioners described how Unilever had said in a statement it would still operate and have facilities such as research laboratories in the UK after a Brexit. But he added: "However, the way we run the company may be fundamentally different if the decision were taken to leave the EU."

He continued to say that it was too early to say what effect Brexit would have on Unilever jobs, hiring or investment, but added: "We cannot predict the consequences on the economy and subsequent impact on our operations in the UK."

According to the report, last Thursday, chief executive Paul Polman, along with former chief executives Patrick Cescau and Niall FitzGerald and former chairman Sir Michael Perry, sent a joint letter to the company's 7,500 UK employees.

It said: "It is not for us to suggest how people might vote… but in taking this hugely important and irreversible decision, we feel a responsibility to point out that Unilever in the UK, with its thriving operating company, international research centres, factories and global headquarters would, in our considered opinion, be negatively impacted if the UK were to leave the European Union."

It added that the company owed much of its success over the past 25 years to having access to "a single European market of 500 million consumers".

The BBC makes sure to include details of the Vote Leave campaigners who have previously said that trade in Europe would carry on as before after a Brexit, and that the UK "could do a trade deal with the US that the EU is failing to do".

This included bosses such as JCB chairman Lord Bamford, who wrote to his company's 6,500 employees to explain why he favoured a vote to leave the European Union. He said he was "very confident that we can stand on our own two feet".

And Sir James Dyson said Britain would gain more from leaving the EU than it would lose. He said the idea that Britain could not trade successfully outside the EU was "absolute cobblers".

Dyson also told The Daily Telegraph that the UK "will create more wealth and more jobs by being outside the EU than we will within it".

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