Brexit: Government is not going to fund Nissan to stay in UK
According to a letter seen by The Independent, the government offered no monetary compensation to Nissan so that it could stay in stay in the UK.
Whitehall sources revealed that Nissan committed to the UK due to assurances.
The controversial letter has emerged in the midst of Nissan announcement that it will review its Sunderland plant. It’s only a year ago when the car manufacturer announced pit would increase investment in the factory.
The Whitehall source said that Nissan got “no specific promise of money.” The whole decision was based on “gentleman’s agreement.”
The source further refuted claims that Nissan had been offered with a “blank cheque”. Some claim this will be increased once the PM announces exit from the single market.
Nissan growth in jeopardy?
When the Business Secretary, Greg Clerk visited Tokyo for a talk with Nissan, the firm announced that it was building its Qashqai and X-Trail SUV ranges in the Sunderland plant. However, these plans fell into jeopardy after the Brexit vote.
The Minister then held on to the letters, stating that they were commercially sensitive. This raised speculation of money promises to Nissan.
But sources have revealed that taxpayers will lose no money but rather stands to benefit. A decision by the Government to compensate Nissan for any tariffs paid to the EU after Brexit would be outweighed by tariffs paid by German manufacturers to the UK.
Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn spoke at World Economic Forum in Davos. He said that they had full trust in Theresa May’s assurances. However, he added that it is vital for the firm to re-evaluate its financial position after the final Brexit deal.
“Obviously when the package comes, you are going to have to re-evaluate the situation,” said Mr Ghosn. He added that the focus is usually on measuring a firm’s effectiveness.
He said that they will continue to operate their Sunderland firm and assume that the competitiveness of the country is still intact even after Brexit.
Tough Questions for PM
Mrs May will unveil “modern industrial strategy” on Monday. However, she is faced with tough questions touching on Nissan and other foreign manufacturers.
Toyota’s chairman, Takeshi Uchiyamada, has said that they are also ramping up Toyota’s competitiveness in order to weather the effects of Brexit.
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