It was interesting to read Monday’s debate in the House of Commons concerning Nissan.
I noted with great interest Greg Clark’s,The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, opening statement: “Nissan had located in Sunderland in 1986, having been persuaded by Mrs Thatcher that the combination of British engineering excellence and tariff-free access to the European Union made Britain an ideal location.”
Within this debate MPs, including our own three local MPs, and many from opposite sides of the chamber spoke and acknowledged the importance of both Nissan and its supply chain to Britain and the North East.
Whilst some noted the changing attitudes to diesel engines across Europe and how this could have been the deciding factor for Nissan’s decision to retain the manufacturing of The X-Trail in Japan.
I can’t see why, after all those X-Trails surely will have diesel engines fitted too, if not, what and if not, why not produce them here, unless there is an even more deciding factor. It seems to me, that the main decision for this U-turn is mainly due to the uncertainty over the trading conditions between the EU and UK and the risk of newly imposed tariffs.
We have heard that this decision will not affect the level of the current workforce, yet we heard Ian Mears MP note, with concern, that “Nissan has laid off many hundreds of agency workers in the past 12 months”
Due to this decision, 741 new jobs will be lost, but what effect will this development have when the current models come to the end of their production life? Will we see current jobs lost as new production is moved abroad?
As Greg Clark MP said, “…the combination of British engineering excellence and tariff-free access to the European Union made Britain an ideal location.”
What has changed?