Brexit Britain wins again as Nissan performs major U-turn with £2billion investment after EU fears

Rishi Sunak with a Nissan EV

The Nissan investment has been described as a big win for Brexit Britain

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 27/11/2023

- 13:26

Updated: 05/03/2024

- 16:41

Nissan will produce new Qashqai and Juke electric cars in Sunderland

The new £2billion investment from Nissan has been praised for its Brexit benefits after bosses at the Japanese brand said the impact of leaving the European Union had been “negligible”.

Last week, car manufacturing giant Nissan announced a major £2billion funding boost into its Sunderland electric car plant, tripling its investment in the UK.

As part of the new investment, Nissan plans to produce two new electric vehicle models in the UK, namely the Qashqai and Juke.

This is in addition to the production of the all-electric Nissan Leaf announced in 2021, and the £1billion electric vehicle hub.

WATCH NOW: Rishi Sunak reacts to £2billion Nissan electric car investment

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt praised the investment, saying it would safeguard the future of the British car industry.

This follows some concerns that Nissan was preparing to leave the UK after the Brexit referendum.

Many were fearful that the UK’s historic vehicle manufacturing industry would collapse after leaving the European Union because of trade deal issues.

Nissan bosses now say that the impact of Brexit was overstated and there was only a “negligible” impact, with the chief executive of Nissan confirming that the UK would remain as its European hub for the “foreseeable future”.

Makoto Uchida said: “I am quite surprised that people here in the UK are asking, ‘why UK?’ We have great people and great talent here.”

Andrew Pierce, host of Britain’s Newsroom alongside Bev Turner on GB News, said it was “great news for post-Brexit Britain”.

Similarly, Richard Tice, GB News host and leader of Reform UK, called the announcement a “Brexit bonus”.

He added: “Nissan’s U-turn over Brexit as bosses admit they were too gloomy. Let’s celebrate some good news.”

According to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), car manufacturing in the UK has remained relatively stable compared to other manufacturing powerhouses like France, the United States and Germany.

Some experts have put this down to Brexit, saying that the fall in sterling improved how competitive UK production could be.

Julian Jessop, an independent economist, said that other reasons could last longer and provide the UK with greater support.

He said: “In particular, the new trade frictions with the EU have encouraged some firms to produce more goods (and source more components) within the UK.

“This is not necessarily best for the economy as a whole, but it is supporting local manufacturing.”

The UK Government and the European Union are still working together to clarify the rules of origin before January 1, 2024, or manufacturers could be hammered by enormous costs.


Nissan President and CEO Makoto Uchida speaking at the Nissan car plant in Sunderland

Nissan President and CEO Makoto Uchida speaking at the Nissan car plant in Sunderland


Estimates from the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that electric cars could cost drivers £3,400 more, as well as manufacturers being hit with a £4.3billion bill.

Under the post-Brexit trade deal, electric vehicles are required to have 45 per cent of their content to be made in the UK or European Union.

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