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Nissan is taking legal action against Leave campaign

Nissan sign Image copyright Associated Press
Image caption The Japanese carmaker was one of several firms included in a Vote Leave leaflet

Nissan is taking legal action against the Vote Leave campaign, after its logo was displayed in a Leave campaign leaflet.

The logo appeared in a pro-Brexit flyer alongside those of other major global manufacturers.

The company said it hoped legal proceedings would prevent future "false statements and misrepresentations" appearing in Leave campaign literature.

Nissan executives have previously said the firm would like Britain to remain in Europe.

Nissan said the decision to lodge an injunction at the High Court came after repeated requests that Vote Leave stop using the company's logo had been ignored.

"Use of the Nissan name and logo by the Vote Leave campaign in their materials grossly misrepresents our widely circulated and publicly stated position announced on 23rd February 2016," said Nissan spokesman David Jackson.

"We vigorously protect the Nissan brand and intellectual property in all markets in which we operate."

Five other companies, including Vauxhall and Toyota, were included in the Leave leaflet, which stated that "major employers... have all said they'll stay in the UK whatever the result of the referendum".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Toyota has said its operations would be best served if Britain remains in the EU

Last week Toyota said use of its logo could "mislead those reading into thinking that Toyota could endorse the Vote Leave campaign".

Toyota, which built more than 10% of UK-manufactured cars last year, said it was also considering taking legal action against "unauthorised use" of its trademarks.

In February, Toyota said that its long-term competitiveness and operations would be best served in Britain stayed in the EU.

'Complete misrepresentation'

Unilever has also complained about the use of its corporate logo in a Vote Leave leaflet.

It called its inclusion a "complete misrepresentation" of the company's position on the European referendum vote.

The Anglo-Dutch firm said it was planning to complain to the Electoral Commission, the UK's elections watchdog.

"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," said a Unilever spokesman in a statement.

"Our position couldn't be clearer. We firmly support Britain remaining."

The Vote Leave campaign has not responded to the BBC's request for comment on Nissan's legal proceedings.

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