Nissan cite Brexit as reason for ditching plans to build X-trail in Sunderland
'This represents a serious blow to the communities that depend on the jobs Nissan creates and supports'
Nissan have confirmed they are abandoning plans to build their X-Trail model at its plant in Sunderland. This news comes after the car maker pledged to manufacture the car in the UK four months after the EU referendum in 2016, which was seen as a huge vote of confidence in Brexit from big business.
The Japanese firm said: “While we have taken this decision for business reasons, the continued uncertainty around the UK’s future relationship with the EU is not helping companies like ours to plan for the future.”
Remain voting MPs have been very vocal on the issue.
Shadow Brexit Secretary Kier Starmer has said: "If confirmed, this represents a serious blow to the communities that depend on the jobs Nissan creates and supports.
"The Tories’ chaotic handling of the Brexit negotiations is having a devastating impact on business investment. It’s time ministers got a grip on this crisis."
If confirmed, this represents a serious blow to the communities that depend on the jobs Nissan creates and supports.
The Tories’ chaotic handling of the Brexit negotiations is having a devastating impact on business investment. It’s time ministers got a grip on this crisis. https://t.co/i6I9Xy56CL
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) February 2, 2019
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said Nissan's withdrawal could be a turning point in Brexit uncertainty, claiming it showed that big companies were "very seriously reconsidering their future here".
"I'm afraid that where Nissan leads the others, Toyota, Honda, BMW, the rest of them, we're going to see a down scaling of their operations in the UK," Cable said.
He added: "The whole industry is rethinking its approach because it originally saw Britain as a gateway to Europe and that gateway is now closing.
"I think Brexit is a major factor, it may be one of several. Not just for Nissan but the same calculations are being made throughout the car industry."
Julie Elliot, the Labour MP for Sunderland, said she would ask the government to intervene to protect jobs in Sunderland.
"We cannot deny the inevitable role that Brexit plays," she said.
"The constant uncertainty, the chaotic government. None of it is conducive to encouraging business investment in this country."
In the 2016 referendum, Sunderland voted 61.3% to leave the EU.