The boss of a Huddersfield firm has warned staff that the business “will suffer greatly” if the UK votes to leave the European Union.

In an email to employees, Nick Glynne, managing director of Deighton-based Buy It Direct, said he was not trying to tell them how to vote in the referendum, but said: “I only ask that you become as informed as possible before you make what is probably the most important vote in your life.”

Mr Glynne warned that Brexit would destroy market confidence in the UK, hitting the value of the pound and making imports of items sold by Buy It Direct – such as laptops and furniture – more expensive. He said: “If goods go up by 10% we will simply have to sell less and make less profit. This will impact on both jobs and our investment plans.”

Mr Glynne said interest rates were likely go rise in an effort to protect the pound – bringing a triple whammy of higher mortgages, falling confidence and less money to spend on goods that would now be more expensive.

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He added: “We have no idea what the UK looks like post Brexit. It will likely take us many years to work out how to trade with the rest of the world. Businesses like certainty – they need it to invest. In the chaos following exit, few UK or foreign business will want to invest here. This in itself will likely plunge the economy into recession.”

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Mr Glynne said: “Buy It Direct and the UK are doing well at the moment, despite the country being a member of a bureaucratic, wasteful and out-of-touch EU. Brussels may get the wake-up call it needs but even if it doesn’t, economically at least, without any detailed thought-through exit plans, the risk of leaving is far too great.”

The email added: “There may be many things more important to you than your jobs here, your career and income. For example, you may believe that sovereignty over UK affairs is important. So I am not trying to patronise you and tell you how to vote – I only ask that you become as informed as possible before you make what is probably the most important vote in your life.”