Prime Minister Teresa May was full of praise for the announcement from Nissan, and its continuing investment in their Sunderland plant, earlier this week. She said:
This is fantastic news for the UK. Nissan is at the heart of this country’s strong automotive industry and so I welcome their decision to produce the Qashqai and a new model at their Sunderland plant.
It is a recognition that the government is committed to creating and supporting the right conditions for the automotive industry so it continues to grow – now and in the future. This vote of confidence shows Britain is open for business and that we remain an outward-looking, world-leading nation.
The government will continue to work closely with employers and investors in creating a global Britain, a country where there are new opportunities for jobs and rewarding careers. Families across the north-east will be delighted at this news today and I share in their enthusiasm for what this means not just for them, but for the whole of the UK.
Nissan, as well as other major investors in the UK, have been watching the progress of the Brexit process with keen interest, and in particular, how will a hard Brexit affect their export sales from the UK, to the EU.
No UK trade agreement with the EU, post Brexit, would leave Nissan facing a 10% World Trade Organisation tariff. In any event, Nissan seem to have been reassured that the UK government is backing the UK automotive industry. What is not clear, is if any financial risks for Nissan are being underwritten.
Other players in the UK’s automotive sector will no doubt be queuing up to receive the same “reassurances”.