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Toyota, union argue case for keeping Britain in EU

Japanese carmaker Toyota sent a letter to its British staff Monday, jointly signed by Britain\'s biggest union Unite.

Published: 20th June 2016 08:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th June 2016 08:33 PM   |  A+A-

Luxembourg EU Foreign_Mukh

British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond, right, speaks with Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders during a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Luxembourg. |AP

By AFP

LONDON: Japanese carmaker Toyota sent a letter to its British staff Monday, jointly signed by Britain's biggest union Unite, warning of the economic consequences of the country leaving the European Union.

Ahead of Thursday's referendum on British EU membership, Toyota said it wished to clarify "misrepresentation" of its position by Leave campaigners which the company "strongly" objects to.

While holding back from urging staff and union members to vote for Remain, the letter warned of "significant business challenges" should vote to leave Britain leave the 28-nation bloc.

Toyota said "free access to the European Market is of critical importance" for its UK operations.

"Nearly 90 percent of all our vehicles (made in the UK) are exported and 75 percent of all our vehicle production is made for our customers in the EU," it added.

Toyota has two factories in Britain employing more than 3,400 people.

Earlier this year, British industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders revealed that three-quarters of its members believed staying in the EU was best for business.

Political opinion polls put the contest at neck-and-neck, although financial markets and betting firms have Remain as the clear favourite.

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