POOLE’S cosmetics giant Lush says it has accelerated production in Germany and moved some jobs abroad since the vote to leave the European Union.

The company says 18 staff from six European countries have left the UK to relocate to Dusseldorf since the referendum.

While it had always intended to serve the mainland European market from factories on the continent, it said it had “done it with a bullet” following the Brexit vote.

Lush’s statement confirms comments made by co-founder Mark Constantine to the Daily Echo in July.

He said then that no jobs would be lost locally but that Poole would not benefit from the company’s rapid global expansion.

A statement from Lush said the Dusseldorf factory had “started part production in March and has now expanded to full production (excluding soaps which is due to start next week) with 252 full time staff members”.

It added: “From March to the end of July, the Dusseldorf factory was only supplying Germany.

In August they started supplying France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Holland with further supply in Europe planned for 2017.

“By September, we will have had 18 staff from six European countries leave the UK and relocate to Dusseldorf since the Brexit announcement.”

Nine travelled to Dusseldorf on September 1 and more staff who were keen to move were due to be offered roles within days.

It added: “While this was always the plan – to make product for Europe in Europe (alongside our Croatian factory) – the reality of the Brexit vote has meant we have done it with a bullet.

“Many of our staff still have uncertainties about what the Brexit deal will mean for them and continue to wait anxiously for this to be revealed.

“In September we will start Christmas production in Dusseldorf, employing over 100 extra staff locally.”

Lush employs around 1,400 people in Poole, of whom around a third do not have British citizenship. The company says those staff spend around £4.6million locally on food, leisure and housing, including around £700,000 in council tax.

Mr Constantine said in July: “Now all those people have been told they’re not welcome and not wanted by people in Poole.”

Theresa May held a cabinet meeting this week to discuss the form Brexit might take. There has been no news yet about how leaving the EU would affect people from mainland Europe working in the UK.