Big local employers are unhappy with the Vote Leave campaign for using their logos in a leaflet urging the British people to vote for Brexit in the EU referendum on June 23.

Vauxhall Motors, Toyota, Airbus and Unilever – all supporters of Britain remaining in the EU – are understood to be annoyed their logos have been used without permission.

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The leaflet, titled ‘EU Myth Buster’, under the heading 'Would jobs be at risk?' if Britain left the European Union, states: “EU regulations make it harder for British firms to hire staff.

“Mayor employers like Toyota, Nissan, Vauxhall, Honda, Unilever, GE, and Airbus have all said they’ll stay in the UK whatever the result of the referendum.”

Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to workers about the benefits of Britain staying in the EU, during a visit to Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant

Vauxhall, which makes the Vauxhall Astra at Ellesmere Port, hosted Prime Minister David Cameron when he delivered a key note speech aimed at persuading the British people to vote to stay in the EU.

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A spokesman for the car giant said: “Our logo has been used without permission from Vauxhall. It is inappropriate for our logo to be associated with any political campaign and we have expressed our concerns to the Vote Leave group as well as the Electoral Commission.”

Rival Japanese carmaker Toyota, which manufactures its engines on Deeside, is even considering taking legal action over the ‘unauthorised’ use of the firm’s logo in the Vote Leave pamphlet.

Toyota's Deeside factory
Toyota's Deeside factory

A statement from Toyota said: “It has come to our attention that the Vote Leave official election communication contains Toyota’s logos and trademarks and could mislead the reader into thinking that Toyota endorses the Vote Leave campaign.

“We offer no such endorsement and further we are considering a formal legal complaint at this unauthorised use of our trademarks, which infringes our rights as the owners of the Toyota brand.”

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The firm added: “Furthermore, Toyota has already stated that we believe continued British membership of the EU is best for our operations and their long term competitiveness.”

Unilever, which has a base at Port Sunlight, told The Chronicle it was ‘wrong’ for its name to have appeared on the leaflet and intends to complain to the Electoral Commission.

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A spokesman said: “This is a complete misrepresentation of Unilever’s position. We weren’t consulted or asked if we were happy for our name to appear. If we had been, we would never have allowed this to happen. We have complained to the Vote Leave campaign and asked them to withdraw our name. So far, they have refused to do so. We intend now to complain to the Electoral Commission.

“It is wrong that Unilever’s name appears. Our position couldn’t be clearer – we firmly support Britain remaining.”

The Beluga over the Airbus factory in Broughton

The Chronicle has asked Broughton-based Airbus if it wishes to comment on the use of its logo but is still waiting to hear back.

However, the European-wide company made clear where it stood on the EU referendum in a letter to staff in April, which read: “Should the British electorate have a different view then clearly we wouldn’t cease our activities in the UK, which are highly important and very prominent. However, our business model is entirely based on our ability to move products, people and ideas around Europe without any restriction and we do not believe leaving will increase the competitiveness of our British based operations.“

Vote Leave has not yet responded to a request for comment.