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Nissan's real Brexit problems have not yet started

06 February 2019
Nissan's real Brexit problems have not yet started

"The continued uncertainty around the UK's future relationship with the European Union is not helping companies like ours to plan for the future", Nissan's Europe chairman Gianluca de Ficchy said in a statement, after explaining that keeping production in Japan would reduce "upfront investment costs".

Business Minister Greg Clark will make a statement this afternoon.

The UK government is trying to forge a compromise, but businesses are increasingly anxious that Britain could crash out of the European Union without a deal.

Industry experts say the diesel factor, as regulators crack down on the fuel, was bigger for Nissan in this case.

May has already made clear her desire to win over Labour MPs as she tries to build a majority for a deal.

But the information was released on Monday by the Department for Business - with the backing of Nissan.

"Unite will continue to press for further long-term guarantees over future investment and new models to secure the site's future for generations to come", said Steve Bush, acting national officer for the automotive sector.

The business secretary had promised support of up to £80m back in 2016 as the government scrambled to reassure the vehicle industry about Brexit.

'Grant support for training and development and environmental improvements were applied for and approved. on the basis that both the Qashqai and the X-Trail models would be built in Sunderland, ' Clark told parliament.

"Its role in providing high skilled well paid jobs, innovative R&D and investment is why we are determined to build on these strengths to make the United Kingdom a leader in the next generation of autonomous and electric vehicles through the Automotive Sector Deal, as part of our modern Industrial Strategy".

Many Japanese companies had long seen Britain as the gateway into Europe, after being encouraged to open factories in the country by former prime minister Margaret Thatcher but Brexit has thrown that into doubt, prompting consternation in Tokyo.

Nissan recently has confirmed that its new X-trail which was actually planned for the sunderland plant for it is now going to be made in Japan. Thank you for carrying on and having faith in our country. North East business leaders have been saying 'We need clarity, we need some certainty'.

The support package, which committed the government to subsidising initiatives related to skills, R&D and innovation, was contingent on Nissan producing the Qashqai and X-Trail models at the Sunderland plant.