How Nissan reacted to the Brexit deal

Nissan has welcomed the Brexit deal reached between the UK and EU authorities.

Thursday, 24th December 2020, 7:32 pm

A post-Brexit trade deal was agreed by negotiators from the UK and the European Union on Christmas Eve after months of talks and last-minute wrangling.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the £668bn a year agreement – secured just a week before current trading arrangements expire – would "protect jobs across this country" and "enable UK goods to be sold without tariffs, without quotas in the EU market".

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UK and EU reach agreement on post-Brexit trade deal

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Nissan's Sunderland plant.

Reacting to the news, a Nissan spokesman said: “Nissan welcomes the agreement reached between the UK and EU authorities.

"We look forward to the continued success of our UK-based design, engineering and manufacturing operations, which have been serving the European market for more than 30 years.”

Before the deal was announced, Nissan repeatedly warned that the future of its UK operation would be in jeopardy in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Global chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta told the BBC earlier this year that the EU was the biggest customer for vehicles built at Sunderland, with around 70% of cars from there going to the EU.

And he warned a 10% tariff - which would be the default World Trade Organisation rate in the event of no-deal - would have meant such an arrangement was not viable in the long-term.

Following the announcement, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “First of all, competition in our single market will be fair and remain so.

“The EU rules and standards will be respected. We have effective tools to react if fair competition is distorted and impacts our trade.

“Secondly, we will continue cooperating with the UK in all areas of mutual interest, for example in the field of climate change, energy, security and transport.”

Reacting to the deal, James Ramsbotham, chief executive of the North East England Chamber of Commerce, said that businesses still have no clarity on a wide range of important trading issues.

He said: “The last four and a half years have been a nightmare of uncertainty for so many of our North East businesses.

"While we welcome this step towards establishing a new relationship with the EU it is important to remember this is not the end, but the beginning.

“Businesses still have no clarity on a wide range of important trading issues at a time when their attention is also focused on the increasing challenges arising from Covid.

“We have had two years to plan a seamless transition but now just days to adapt to the most significant changes in our trading relationship with the EU in over 40 years.

"This deal leaves businesses with precious little time to adjust.”

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