Thanks to Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn, we’re about to find out what Theresa May truly means when she says: “Brexit means Brexit.”
The oft-repeated mantra has so far had little substance.
Some 100 days after Sunderland declared it would leave the EU, and the rest of the country followed suit, silence has reigned supreme.
Article 50 remains untriggered, no trade deals have been struck, and Theresa May has spoken not a meaningful word on the nation’s exit strategy.
Nissan’s chief executive Carlos Ghosn is forcing the Prime Minister’s hand … and mouth!
He’s clearly had enough of the silent treatment.
And who can blame him?
Nissan said all along it wanted the UK to stay in the EU. When we voted to leave, there was no sabre-rattling, no hissy fits, no rebuke. The toys stayed in the pram.
Nissan kept its counsel and waited to see what the government had planned. They’ve waited, and waited, and waited…
They are waiting no more.
Carlos Ghosn has come out fighting.
“Important investment decisions will not be made in the dark,” he said.
There will be no investment in the Sunderland plant without, says Ghosn, the UK government pledging “commitments for compensation” for any extra costs as a result of Brexit.
That large intake of breath you can hear is from the 7,000 Nissan workers in Sunderland and the tens of thousands in the supply chain.
Without long term investment, Nissan Sunderland is dead in the water.
That the Government hasn’t been in discussion with Nissan beggars belief.
Leaving the EU could have huge ramifications for the UK car industry.
If the government hasn’t been reassuring Nissan behind closed doors, then they have been foolish in the extreme. If they have been in talks, Nissan have not liked what they are hearing.
The time for talking has begun. Theresa May, the people of Sunderland are all ears… what exactly do you mean by “Brexit means Brexit”?