'Brexit uncertainty is undeniably playing a key role' - Sunderland MP urges Prime Minister to provide reassurance for car industry after Honda announces plans to close its UK plant

A Sunderland MP is urging the Government to provide new reassurance to the UK car industry ahead of Brexit.

Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 11:21 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th February 2019, 1:12 pm
Honda is to close its Swindon plant

Speaking after the news Honda is to close its UK plant, Sharon Hodgson said Theresa May needed to rule out leaving the EU without a deal.

Mrs Hodgson, whose Washington and Sunderland West constituency covers Nissan's city plant, said she had written to the Prime Minister after the firm announced two weeks ago that it would not be building a new X-Trail on Wearside - but had not received a reply.

Honda is to close its Swindon plant

The letter also asked the Prime Minister to provide further assurances regarding the automotive industry and Brexit more widely.

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The Japanese firm told workers it proposed to close the vehicle manufacturing plant at the end of the current model's production lifecycle."I know that many people who work in the automotive industry or its extensive supply chain will be yet further concerned by the news that Honda will be closing down its factory in Swindon, particularly those who will be directly affected," said Mrs Hodgson.

"The UK automotive industry provides thousands of jobs around our country, and it is now facing challenges on a number of fronts that need urgently addressing by this Conservative Government.

Sharon Hodgson

"Brexit uncertainty is undeniably playing a key role. There are just 38 days to go until we are due to leave the EU, and there is still zero clarification on what trading arrangements will be in place the day after we have left.

"Almost two weeks ago I wrote directly to the Prime Minister regarding my urgent concerns around Nissan’s decision to build the new X-Trail in Japan rather than in Washington as originally planned, I am yet to receive a reply.

"Theresa May must stop pandering to the hard right in her Party, rule out a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit and drop her red lines in order to reach a compromise."

Honda is to close its UK plant in 2021