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Nissan deal to help all car makers says business secretary Clark

By raccars Published

Nissan

No tariff pledge in British government’s Brexit negotiations is aimed at calming car industry.

Business secretary Greg Clark says that the British government is committed to protecting all car manufacturers from the Brexit effect, claiming that talks are looking to achieve single market access with no tariffs involved.

Nissan was given the assurance that Britain was aiming for a deal with the EU which would mean no car manufacturer tariffs and no excessive red tape, according to business secretary Greg Clark. This is likely to have been beneficial in the manufacturer making its recent, much-heralded commitment to its Sunderland plant.

Quadruple assurances for Nissan

Clark said that he gave Nissan four assurances in a bid to go ‘all out’ and allay concerns over Brexit, convincing the firm to make Sunderland central to the building of its next two models.

The government has faced increasing pressure to reveal the promises made to Nissan in order to secure the company’s investment. It has also been questioned as to whether taxpayers would face any implications as a result of the deal in the future.

A few days after the announcement of the Nissan deal, Clark told Andrew Marr on his BBC1 show that he had reassured Nissan that the government was confident that it could secure a deal to maintain the competitiveness of the car industry.

As a result of the agreement, Nissan is to build the up-coming versions of the X-Trail and Qashqai at Sunderland. This is welcome news for over 7,000 workers and is the first significant post-Brexit decision in the automotive sector.

What the government wants from Brexit

Speculators have said that this suggests that Number Ten wants free trade relations similar to that offered by the customs union and single market. However, Brussels politicians keep warning that this is an unachievable aim while British Prime Minister Theresa May remains committed to freedom from the European Court of Justice’s oversight and the implementation of greater immigration controls.

Clark said that negotiations with European partners would be based upon looking for a common interest with the objective of securing continued access to European markets and vice versa, whilst avoiding red tape and tariffs. The business secretary suggested that this could be applied to Britain’s car industry and to other UK business sectors.

The government had previously refused to confirm that it had offered Nissan any written guarantees to secure the future of the Sunderland manufacturing plant. But Clark said on the Andrew Marr show that a letter had been sent to Nissan containing four assurances; the continuation of Britain’s competitiveness, and the commitment of funds for regional relocation, scientific research, training and skills.

Clark has confirmed just how important it is for the UK to ensure that British industry is competitive, although he said that competition laws meant that no promise had been made to Nissan or any other manufacturer in relation to compensation if they were to face tariffs in the future.

Securing Britain’s future?

Conservative MP and Brexit supporter Nadhim Zahawi, has suggested paying some of Britain’s EU contributions to establish favourable trading arrangements. He said that whilst he was committed to leaving the EU, this was not because of a desire to see the failure of the EU, rather it was aimed at securing the right future for the UK.

Zahawi believes that the UK should pay in some of the £8.5 billion which will be saved as a result of Brexit. This would bridge Part of the European Union’s funding gap but with the condition that British businesses gain a guarantee that they can enjoy single market access with no tariffs imposed.

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