Nigel Evans, MP for the Ribble Valley, has welcomed the news that Nissan will continue to manufacture in Sunderland and will be investing further. This news comes after questions were raised on the future of Nissan in the UK after the EU referendum.
Newly elected as a member of the fresh International Trade Select Committee, Mr Evans saw the news as a vote of confidence in the UK, post-Brexit. The announcement also comes hot on the heels of the news that the UK economy grew 0.5% in the three months after the referendum, dispelling the fears that the economy would shrink. The IMF, the OECD and the Bank of England all made claims before the referendum that the UK would return to a recession if there was a vote to leave the EU.
Speaking in his capacity as a member of the International Trade Select Committee, Nigel said,
“I am delighted at the news that Nissan will keep its manufacturing hub in Sunderland. Nissan sought assurances from the Government that the UK will get a good deal and they were clearly satisfied with the answer. There is a mutual confidence that the car manufacturing industry will continue to thrive in the UK.
“I see no reason to believe why this wouldn’t be the case. The UK exports 77% of its car output, 58% of which goes to Europe. But we still import far more cars, running a trade deficit of around £5 billion a year. Obviously it is in the EU’s interest to offer a good deal. I am glad to see that Nissan, the North-East’s largest private sector employer, has recognised this.”
Nissan have invested £3.7bn in their Sunderland factory since opening in 1986 and they run the most efficient car factory in Europe – producing 115 cars an hour, or half a million a year. Furthermore, exports from the UK are extremely attractive currently, given the position of the pound. The Japanese giant is now considering further investment, hoping to build its own gasification plant so that it can run the factory on low-cost energy.
Those who have been sceptical about Brexit have flagged up questions about how the country will fare outside of the EU but these fears have continually been shown to be misguided. Mr Evans has, since the referendum, been campaigning for people to have a positive outlook and to have faith in the UK:
“I find it to be deeply troubling that many politicians and public figures are seeking any opportunity to undermine the UK’s prospects for the future. This comes against the tide of good news post-Brexit. Not only have Nissan made their announcement, Toyota have also spoken out about their confidence in the UK’s economy. Jaguar Land Rover have stated that they are satisfied with assurances from the Government as well. The housing market has shown strength; the retail industry is experiencing a boom in trade thanks to Brexit; and there is growing confidence from airlines. Yet some choose to talk Britain down.
“It is emblematic of the negativity that remains with those who did not want the UK to Vote Leave. There is a great deal to be positive about regarding Brexit. Roberto Azevedo, Head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), has stated that UK trade will not be disrupted by the divorce of the UK and the EU. I have already pressed the Chairman of the International Trade Select Committee, Angus MacNeil MP, to urgently set up talks with the WTO so ensure that the transition runs smoothly and Britain is treated fairly.”