Nissan plays down reports it will review Qashqai production in Sunderland in event of no-deal Brexit - but issues warning over 'serious implications for British industry'
Nissan has played down reports the car manufacturer will review its decision to build the best-selling Qashqai model at its Sunderland plant if Britain leaves the EU with no deal.
The Financial Times (FT) reported a global review of Nissan's operations could lead to the eventual closure of the highly productive plant, with major repercussions for the North East economy.
The Japanese car manufacturer announced in October 2016 that it was to build a third version of the best-selling family cross-over in Sunderland, as well as a new X-Trail, after receiving assurances from Theresa May's government that it would be protected from the impact of Brexit.
The FT said a soft Brexit with, a trade deal or transition agreement was necessary, for Nissan to continue manufacturing in the UK.
Nissan said its plans to build the Qashqai in Sunderland ‘have not changed’ but it said a no-deal Brexit would have ‘serious implications for British industry.’A spokesman said: "Frictionless trade has enabled the growth that has seen our Sunderland plant become the biggest factory in the history of the UK car industry, exporting more than half of its production to the EU.
"Today we are among those companies with major investments in the UK who are still waiting for clarity on what the future trading relationship between the UK and the EU will look like.
"As a sudden change from those rules to the rules of the WTO (World Trade Organisation) will have serious implications for British industry, we urge UK and EU negotiators to work collaboratively towards anorderly, balanced Brexit that will continue to encourage mutually beneficial trade."
MEP Jude Kirton-Darling MEP said: “This is terrifying news and a sign of our worst fears starting to take the dreaded shape. The risk posed to the Nissan plant in Sunderland and therefore to thousands of automotive jobs in our region is a prime example of why those implying that leaving with no deal is the purest form of Brexit are either categorically wrong or simply lying. ”