Tag Archives: Nissan

£80m for Nissan to invest in the UK but Brexit put a stop to it – leaving exposed Tory liars in its wake

Nissan’s Sunderland factory: It is understood no jobs will be affected by the decision not to make the X-Trail there. We can hope that announcement isn’t untrue, as it was not made by a Conservative MP.

“There’s no cheque book. I don’t have a cheque book,” said Business Secretary Greg Clark on the BBC’s Question Time in 2016, after he was asked if he had done a “sweetheart” deal to keep Nissan in the UK.

He lied.

He had offered a secret package of state aid to Nissan that could have been worth up to £80 million, if the car manufacturer had gone ahead with its plan to make the new X-Trail in Sunderland.

When a state aid package was formally awarded to Nissan last year, it turned out to be worth £61 million – a sum that appears not to have been enough for the carmaker, as it has announced that it will not make the X-Trail in the UK. It made very clear the fact that its reasons include uncertainty over Brexit.

Mr Clark only acknowledged the existence of the state aid award yesterday (February 4), in a letter to Rachel Reeves, the Labour MP who chairs the Business select committee in the House of Commons.

Apparently Esther McVey hadn’t seen the memo and, in an excruciating appearance on LBC radio, repeatedly denied that Nissan’s withdrawal – meaning the loss of a planned 741 new jobs – was due to Brexit. She was put right by Nissan’s Europe division boss Gianluca de Ficchy, after her appearance on the show.

Tory liars: They even lie to each other.

Worse than that – for This Writer – is the fact that Conservatives are happy to make huge amounts of money available for these so-called “sweetheart” deals with businesses, as they are happy to write off huge amounts of tax when it is dodged by the already obscenely-rich.

But they squeeze anybody on low earnings – hard – to make us pay for their extravagances, and they wouldn’t dream of making sure we are paid a proper living wage, or enjoy a proper, dignified benefit system.

Tory priorities: Take everything away from you and lie to you about it.


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Nissan to abandon UK X-Trail manufacturing plans because of Brexit – claim


Where are those blue-skyers who keep saying there’s nothing to worry about and the UK won’t lose any business because of Brexit?

I’d like to see how they explain this away.

Japanese car-maker Nissan is set to abandon its plans to build its X-Trail model at its Sunderland plant, according to reports.

The company is said to have performed a U-turn on its intention to build the car in the northeast less than two months before Britain is set to leave the European Union, amid increased Brexit uncertainty.

Source: Nissan ‘set to abandon plans to build X-Trail model in Sunderland’ as Brexit uncertainty shakes UK car industry | The Independent


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Vox Political right again: Nissan’s post-Brexit deal could lead to ‘colossal’ bills for taxpayer

Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s chief executive, after talks with Theresa May at No 10 Downing Street [Image: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA].

Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s chief executive, after talks with Theresa May at No 10 Downing Street [Image: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA].

It is exactly as Vox Political predicted.

I wrote: “It’s looking as though… Nissan was indeed offered a ‘sweetener’ deal to stay in the UK after Brexit. It seems certain that other firms will rush to secure similar assurances – that would leave the Treasury, and the hard-working UK citizens the Tories are so fond of praising, seriously out of pocket.”

And I was right:

Nissan was convinced to stay in the UK with a promise of no tariffs or extra bureaucratic burdens on the car industry after Brexit, the business secretary has finally revealed, prompting fears that sector-by-sector deals could cost the taxpayer “colossal amounts of money”.

Source: Nissan’s post-Brexit deal could lead to ‘colossal’ bills for taxpayer | Politics | The Guardian
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Nissan deal has created a financial nightmare for UK taxpayers. Thanks for nothing, Tories!

Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn received assurances from the prime minister that the carmaker would be shielded from the impact of Brexit [Montage: FT/Getty].

Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn received assurances from the prime minister that the carmaker would be shielded from the impact of Brexit [Montage: FT/Getty].

It’s looking as though Anna Soubry was right and Nissan was indeed offered a ‘sweetener’ deal to stay in the UK after Brexit.

It seems certain that other firms will rush to secure similar assurances – that would leave the Treasury, and the hard-working UK citizens the Tories are so fond of praising, seriously out of pocket.

It seems the Conservative Government under Theresa May is unsafe wherever it goes.

If it denies any further ‘sweeteners’ to other multinational firms, they may pack their bags and head for the continent.

If it gives in, then not only will it seem weak but it will also create a spending commitment that taxpayers will struggle to meet.

So a deal that the Tories were touting as a huge victory only two days ago now stands revealed as a monumental mess.

Still, it’s a rosy result for Nissan and company director Carlos Ghosn, who will build two new models at a plant in Sunderland from 2019.

These are the X-trail and the Qashqai – although Mr Ghosn may wish to consider renaming the latter.

In the light of recent events, ‘Cash Cow’ seems more appropriate.

Nissan warned the British government that the carmaker would wind down UK operations if it was not guaranteed competitive trading conditions with Europe, according to two people involved in negotiations over future investment in its Sunderland plant.

During talks that led to a meeting between Theresa May and Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn, the Japanese carmaker said it was prepared to shift production to its Spanish and French factories in a move that would lead to the closure of its British plant and other UK sites.

Government assurances offered to Nissan led to its decision this week to locate two new cars at the plant from 2019, safeguarding more than 30,000 jobs at the site and in its supply chain.

Sunderland’s closure would have caused a political tidal wave and set a precedent for other carmakers to locate future work outside Britain.

Rival carmakers are now demanding the same assurances offered to Nissan to shield them from the impact of Brexit. While technology and pharmaceuticals companies are prioritising visas for skilled workers, other exporters including chemicals manufacturers have set tariff-free access to the EU as a priority.

The prime minister’s office faces calls from Labour to disclose details of its exact pledges to Nissan, including the contents of a letter written by Greg Clark, the business secretary, to Nissan’s executive committee in Japan.

According to several people familiar with the contents of the letter, it contains the same assurances that were offered to Mr Ghosn by the prime minister — namely that the carmaker would face no change in its trading conditions following Britain’s exit from the EU.

Source: Nissan warned government on fate of Sunderland without deal

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No ‘sweeteners’ in Nissan deal, says Clark – because other firms will want equal treatment?

The production line was stopped at 11:00 BST on Thursday so workers could be told about the decision [Image: Getty Images].

The production line was stopped at 11:00 BST on Thursday so workers could be told about the decision [Image: Getty Images].

Here’s another chance for Theresa May’s Tories to tie themselves in knots.

The car manufacturer Nissan announced yesterday (Thursday, October 28) that it will remain in the UK post-Brexit, meaning more than 7,000 jobs at its Sunderland plant are safe and it will manufacture two new models there.

But was it offered a ‘sweetheart deal’ to stay? Business Secretary Greg Clark says no.

“There’s no cheque book. I don’t have a cheque book,” he said on the BBC’s Question Time.

“The important thing is that they know this is a country in which they can have confidence they can invest. That was the assurance and the understanding they had and they have invested their money.”

Was he lying, though? According to The Guardian, “Greg Clark reportedly gave a ‘last-minute written promise’ to Nissan to protect the company from the consequences of Brexit, in a pledge that will fuel Labour’s demand for the government to publish any private guarantees.”

And fellow Tory Anna Soubry indicated her own conviction that a ‘sweetener’ had been applied. The Telegraph reported: “She said she had met Nissan on June 30, a week after the Brexit vote, and that the company expressed ‘profound concerns’ about tariffs.

“She told BBC Radio 4’s World At One: ‘They didn’t give the detail of what they wanted, they made it very clear that without a guarantee that they would not be subject to tariffs or if they were subject to tariffs the Government would do something to mitigate the damage of tariffs… that without that, they told me, my understanding actually was that they would go to Renault because they clearly had the capacity there.’

“On the assurances that helped Nissan decide to build its next-generation Qashqai, and add production of the new X-Trail model, at its Sunderland plant, Ms Soubry said: ‘I don’t know what it is but I would be very surprised if there hasn’t been some sort of guarantee to mitigate any tariffs should they be imposed.'”

Just to muddy the waters, though, it seems Nissan never had any intention to leave – according to right-wing gossip-monger Guido Fawkes’ blog, which stated in May: “Nissan are on the record saying they won’t leave Britain post-Brexit and have been at pains not to scaremonger about the referendum. So they were a bit put out by Anna Soubry using their reception in parliament last night to preach doom on their behalf. The event had nothing to do with Europe, but Soubs misjudged the tone and told guests how leaving the EU will cause a ‘disaster for manufacturing’ and result in ‘an immediate 10% tariff on Nissan cars’.”

Now she pops up again, again talking about tariffs. And we have no guarantee that Nissan meant what it said before the referendum; it could have been angling for a ‘sweetener’, even then.

And a ‘quiet’ deal would be handy for the government, if it didn’t want to promise a mitigation deal for every Tom, Dick or Harriet who is now facing a 15% tariff on imports/exports.

Bizarrely, some commenters on Twitter were all right with that:

So there you have it. If you don’t get a ‘sweetener’ deal from Theresa May and Greg Clark, then your firm probably isn’t considered “good for the economy”.

In fact, it’s more likely to be because Mrs May and Mr Clark simply don’t want to pay out compensation to any old pleb who is likely to suffer because of their party’s silly referendum stunt.

That’s nice to know, isn’t it?