Union warns of no-deal Brexit threat to Nissan supply chain

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Unite the union has said that that the UK government would be “reckless” to dismiss Nissan’s no-deal Brexit warnings after the car giant revealed a £100 million investment in production at its Sunderland facility.

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “UK government ministers would be reckless to dismiss this worrying no deal Brexit warning from Nissan. Nissan is responsible for close to 30 per cent of all UK vehicle production and its plant in Sunderland sustains tens of thousands of jobs both directly and in the wider supply chain.

“A no deal Brexit would not only torpedo the frictionless just-in-time supply chains that Nissan relies on, but the resulting World Trade Organisation rules would impose a ten per cent tariff on the sale of finished vehicles into Europe, affecting the car industry and wider UK manufacturing.”

This comes after Nissans’ European chairman, Gianluca de Ficchy, told the BBC that its European operations would be ”in jeopardy” if a 10 per cent tariff was introduced in the event of a ”no-deal” Brexit.

In regards to the possibility of the Sunderland plant collapsing under a no-deal Brexit, de Ficchy told the BBC: “The only message I can [give]is that if a no-deal will be associated with the application of 10 per cent duties under the WTO rules, that will create an enormous problem for the overall European activities of Nissan Europe.

“If we will have to sustain 10 per cent export duties on the vehicles that we export from UK to EU, knowing that those vehicles represent 70 per cent of total production, the overall business model won’t be sustainable.”

His comments come after the commencement of the production of the Nissan Juke, of which de Ficchy said: “The new Juke represents a further £100m investment in our Sunderland plant and is designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK for European customers.”

By Michelle Mooney

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