'I will ask the Government to intervene' - MP reacts to reports that Nissan could 'cancel production of X-Trail car in Sunderland'
Sunderland MP Julie Elliott says she will ask the Government to intervene following reports that car maker Nissan could be about to cancel production of its X-Trail model at the firm's Wearside plant.
Sky News reported earlier today that on Monday the Japanese company will announce it will no longer produce the car in Sunderland.
Nissan said back in 2016 that the X-Trail SUV car would be produced on Wearside after receiving assurances from the Government. The firm employs 7,000 people at its Sunderland factory and 8,000 overall in the UK.
"While we are still awaiting on confirmation from Nissan themselves, the downturn in the diesel market is what is being blamed.
"I will be doing everything I can to protect jobs at the Sunderland plant.
"I will be asking for the Government to intervene, and will stay in close contact with the company itself.
"But we cannot deny the inevitable role that Brexit plays here.
The constant uncertainty, the chaotic Government.
"None of it is conducive to encouraging business investment in this country."
Her comments follow those of fellow Labour Sunderland MP Bridget Phillipson, who represents Houghton and Sunderland South.
She said: “If confirmed, this would represent deeply troubling news for the North East economy.
“So many jobs and livelihoods depend on Nissan’s success.”
And Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson said in a statement: "I am extremely concerned about unconfirmed reports that Nissan are cancelling their plans to manufacture the new X-Trail model at their plant in Washington in my constituency.
"I know many of my constituents will also be worried.
"I will do all that I can to protect jobs in Washington and Sunderland.
"On Monday I will be speaking to Government ministers in order to raise this as a matter of urgency.
"I have been in contact with Nissan today, and am following developments closely.
"I will be seeking further information from the company as soon as it is available."
A spokeswoman for Nissan said the company would not comment on rumour and speculation.
Last October its executives said it was one of a number of companies which have made major investments in the UK waiting for clarity on what future trading relationships will be like when Britain leaves the European Union.
Months before, in June, the company also said it would halt investment plans in the UK while it remains “in the dark” about Britain’s future relationship with the EU.
Nissan is part-owned by French manufacturer Renault, which had led to concerns that production could be moved to France to avoid any tariffs which might be introduced on exports to the EU if the UK leaves the single market in a hard Brexit.