Bridget Phillipson MP reacts to claims Nissan could review Qashqai production in case of no-deal Brexit as 'worrying'

Bridget Phillipson has reacted to claims Nissan could review its production of the Qashqai in Sunderland if there is a no-deal Brexit.

Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 10:41 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 12:49 pm
Workers at Nissan working on the Qashqai in Sunderland. Picture: Press Association.

The Houghton and Sunderland South MP has said the claims – which Nissan has said it will not comment on – is further evidence Boris Johnson’s Government cannot be trusted to protect jobs across the city.

The Japanese firm announced three years ago it would build a third version of the model in Sunderland in addition to a new X-Trail, following assurances from Theresa May’s government that it would be protected from the impact of leaving the European Union.

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Bridget Phillipson, Labour MP for Houghton and Sunderland South.

However, the decision to produce the X-Trail was reversed in February and was followed by another confirmation just weeks later it would be halting the production of its luxury Infiniti brand at the plant.

The FT report said a soft Brexit, with a trade deal of 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”.

Ms Phillipson has supported the People’s Vote campaign, which is calling for a public vote on the final Brexit deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Nissan's Sunderland plant, where the Qashqai is manufactured.

She said: “If confirmed, this is worrying news for the whole city.

“Just last week the Prime Minister claimed that he didn’t think the ‘consequences of a No Deal will be anything like as bad as you say. We can manage the just-in-time supply chains.

"Yet today Nissan warned of ‘serious implications’ saying it is ‘frictionless trade has enabled the growth that has seen our Sunderland plant become the biggest factory in the history of the UK car industry.

"It is further evidence that we cannot trust Johnson with jobs and livelihoods on Wearside. He is happy to take us ever closer to the cliff edge with his reckless approach. Yet it is the people of Sunderland who will suffer the consequences.

"We know our region will be hit first in in the event of a No Deal Brexit because over half of our exports go to the EU.

“This cannot go on.

“What is now proposed is a million miles away from what was promised by Leave campaigners in 2016.

“But it’s not too late to change course.

“The democratic way out of this crisis would be to let the British people decide what is best for our country.

“The final say must rest with them.”