08 June 2016 --- Unilever boss Paul Polman has flagged up that there will be "serious consequences” should Britain vote to leave the EU and suggested that the Anglo-Dutch business could pull billions of Euros in investment from the UK.
With just over two weeks to go until Britain votes on whether to stay in the EU, Polman extolled the benefits to Unilever from being part of the EU but warned also that British consumers would be hit in the pocket when buying Wall's and Magnum ice creams should they vote leave.
Speaking to Channel 4 News last night, Polman said exiting the EU "will have serous consequences not only for Unilever but for any company in the UK".
Currently, around one third of Unilever's business takes place in Europe, with the UK being one of its key markets.
Polman said: "Were Britain to exit then we seriously have to look at parts of running our business or how we structure our business to accommodate that."
Billions of Euros invested into the UK could be impacted, according to the boss of the Anglo-Dutch company.
Polman also indicated that the prices of its ice creams will go up should Britain vote to leave, because of new import duties on dairy.
He added: “You will have import duties on dairy. Anybody from outside the EU has import duties that could be up to 40 per cent, 50 per cent."
“So the price of dairy products will go up, the price of ice cream will go up, and ultimately the consumer will pay the price for that.”
A number of business leaders have waded into the debate on the EU referendum.
For example, Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary came out in support of a vote to stay while JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin wants to leave.
The UK food and drinks industry has publicly declared its support for the UK to remain part of the European Union.
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