Government needs to negotiate deal to help Nissan say Sunderland business chiefs

Gary Hutchinson, chairman of the North East Chamber of Commerce Sunderland branch.

Gary Hutchinson, chairman of the North East Chamber of Commerce Sunderland branch.

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Business chiefs have also urged the Government to clarify its position on trade post-Brexit, saying that firms like Nissan cannot make plans without clearer details.

Gary Hutchinson, chairman of the Sunderland branch of the NECC, said: “I remain positive that the Government will protect the UK economy and its businesses and will work with Nissan and other companies to negotiate the best deal.”

Paul Swinney of think-tank Centre for Cities.

Paul Swinney of think-tank Centre for Cities.

“Clearly we are still in a period of uncertainty in regards to Brexit, and it is imperative that the Government negotiates the best outcome so that manufacturing in the UK and particularly here in the North East continues to thrive.”

Economist and author Paul Swinney said: “It’s not really surprising that Nissan has said what they have said.

“They could be testing the Government to see what it comes up with, but they could be serious too.

“This situation is a threat to Sunderland’s econmoy and it does create a great deal of uncertainty.”

NEECC director of policy Ross Smith.

NEECC director of policy Ross Smith.

Ross Smith, head of policy, North East England Chamber of Commerce (NECC), said: “There are a great number of reasons for Nissan to continue to invest in the Sunderland plant including the local management team, the workforce and excellent supply chain in North East England.

“However anyone making a long-term investment decision will want certainty over trading conditions and the tax framework.

“For the good of the North East economy, we need the Government to be as clear as possible as soon as possible.”