Niall FitzGerald, co-chairman of Unilever, has warned that investment by his company may be in jeopardy if Britain fails to adopt the single European currency in the next parliament.

“If there was a decision taken by the electorate that Britain should not join the euro – then we have to go back on assumptions we made about investment,” said FitzGerald in an interview with the Independent on Sunday.
He said a note vote would force him to ask: “Does [Britain] continue to be an attractive place in which to base a business which is serving 480m customers, of which 430m are in a different zone?”

Unilever has a number of manufacturing plants in the UK for brands like Walls Ice Cream and Hellmann’s mayonnaise, employing over 17,500 people. A pullout or scaling back of operations would have a drastic effect on the food industry in the UK.

FitzGerald admitted that Unilever would financially support a cross-party campaign for a ‘yes’ vote.