London - Anglo-Dutch consumer goods maker Unilever could review its investment in Britain should the country leave the European Union, the Guardian newspaper reported the chief executive as saying.

Britain's ruling Conservative party has promised to hold a referendum if re-elected next year on the country's membership in the EU, which it says is in need of reform.

Britain's presence in the EU was good for business and for the British economy, the newspaper late Tuesday cited Paul Polman as saying.

“We are very concerned about the overall competitiveness of Europe vis-a-vis the rest of the world,” said Polman, according to the Guardian.

Polman said he supported EU reform but that related debate was simplistic, the newspaper reported.

The maker of products from Ben & Jerry's ice cream and Lipton tea to Dove soap and Vaseline could not be reached for comment outside of regular business hours. - Reuters