Washington MP challenges new Prime Minister Boris Johnson to rule out No Deal Brexit after Nissan announces 12,500 job cuts

A Sunderland MP has challenged new Prime Minister Boris Johnson to rule out a No Deal Brexit and commit.

By Poppy Kennedy
Friday, 26 July, 2019, 06:00

Raising concerns following Nissan’s announcement, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, Sharon Hodgson, has challenged the new Prime Minister Boris Johnson to rule out a No Deal Brexit, and commit to protecting industrial towns.

Mrs Hodgson, who is also Shadow Minister for Public Health, used the new Prime Minister’s first statement in the House of Commons to raise concerns around Nissan’s announcement on Thursday, July 25, that 12,500 jobs will be lost worldwide.

The Japanese firm announced that it is axing 12,500 jobs - around nine per cent of its global workforce - as well as reducing global production capacity.

No details were given of which plants will be affected, but the factory in Sunderland is not expected to be targeted.

Mrs Hodgson also challenged Mr Johnson to rule out a No Deal Brexit, and commit to the continuation of an active, innovation-led industrial strategy to protect the UK’s industrial towns.

The Automotive Industry in the UK is undoubtedly going through a challenging period, and by far the greatest threat to its continued competitiveness is a No Deal exit from the European Union (EU).

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Mrs Hodgson said: “Like many people I was hugely worried by Nissan’s announcement. At this stage there is little indication that any job cuts will be made at the Sunderland plant, but I will be monitoring the situation extremely closely and maintaining contact with both Unite Officials, and Nissan.

Sharon Hodgson MP.

“I’m glad Boris committed to the continuation of an active, innovation-led industrial strategy and I look forward to seeing that in practice.

“When it comes to Brexit, a No Deal exit from the European Union poses an existential threat to the continued success of the automotive industry in the UK.

“It is frightening that we now have a Prime Minister who believes he knows more than the industry itself when it comes to the challenges that a No Deal would present. I will continue to challenge No Deal at every available opportunity, and hold this new Prime Minister to account.”

New Prime Minister Boris Johnson.