Government offers 'support' to car firm
Nissan commits to UK after Downing St pledge
The Japanese car company will invest in the Qashqai and the X-Trail SUV. It is the first major development for the industry since the EU referendum and was hailed as showing Britain would continue to attract investment.
Downing Street insisted there was no sweetheart deal. However, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said there had been “support and assurances” to ensure production continues in Britain after the company hinted it could relocate the work.
It is understood Nissan has received guarantees of compensation for costs related to any new trade tariffs resulting from EU withdrawal.
Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, gave a pledge to Nissan executives that trading conditions would be maintained in order for Nissan to compete in a post-Brexit Britain.
A Nissan spokesman said there could be hundreds of new jobs on top of the 7,000 currently employed at the Wearside plant.
Mr Ghosn welcomed Prime Minister Theresa May’s “commitment to the automotive industry in Britain”.
Mrs May said: “This vote of confidence shows Britain is open for business.”
The decision to offer some form of state support may lead other major manufacturers to seek similar guarantees.
The UK government will argue that once it is free of EU state aid rules it will have more flexibility in the way it offers incentives to industry.