Tuesday, 20 August, 2019

United Kingdom seeks to reassure foreign investors over Brexit

Greg Clark the Business Secretary Greg Clark the Business Secretary faced awkward questions in the Commons about Nissan and Brexit Credit Anna Gordon eyevine
Sandy Nunez | 07 February, 2019, 04:28

They have reiterated today their commitment to the United Kingdom by continuing to manufacture in Sunderland the current Qashqai, Leaf and Juke models and the new Qashqai model from 2020. However, Nissan had once said production of the X-Trail in Sunderland would create hundreds of additional jobs at the complex.

The vehicle giant announced in 2016 that it planned to build its X-Trail model in Sunderland, but will now assemble it instead at Nissan's global production hub in Kyushu, Japan.

Business Secretary Greg Clark was also due to make a statement to parliament on Nissan as Brexit supporters and opponents fiercely debated whether the decision was motivated by Britain's impending withdrawal from the EU.

Merkel said questions about the backstop could be discussed in the so-called political agreement that accompanies the Brexit deal, adding: "We need to show creativity, we need to listen to each other". At the time, the government would not reveal what it had said in a letter to Nissan, but denied that financial incentives had been offered.

"It will be a critical priority of our negotiation to support United Kingdom auto manufacturers and ensure that their ability to export to and from the European Union is not adversely affected by the UK's future relationship with the European Union".

Japanese carmaker Nissan confirmed it had abandoned plans to build the new model X-Trail in Sunderland, Britain, which was described as "troubling news" by local officials.

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The department revealed the package of support it offered Nissan after the firm announced yesterday that it would reverse its pledge to build the vehicle at the plant. Brexit uncertainty has since prompted consternation in some boardrooms in Tokyo.

Not long ago the automotive industry was the darling of a renaissance in British manufacturing, with David Cameron and George Osborne frequently found opening plants or assembly lines while in government.

"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 acting national officer for the automotive sector Steve Bush.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said that "if Tory MPs were asked to go into electoral battle in the next few months, there would be a hole in the heart of our manifesto".

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, expressed on Tuesday her commitment to Northern Ireland in favour of its plan to withdraw from the European Union (EU), a process known as Brexit.