All car manufacturers will be offered the same deal as Nissan in the wake of the EU referendum to secure the future of British car manufacturing

The UK car industry has been assured that the deal offered to Nissan - which would eliminate any tariffs imposed on the companies' exports to Europe - will be offered to all car manufacturers, according to business secretary Greg Clark.

Talking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Clark said: “It is my job to provide the assurances to Nissan and others that Britain is going to continue to be a great place to invest. I was able to do that and this [Nissan’s continuing investment] was the result that we saw.

“One of the assurances I was able to give is that our intention, our negotiating remit when it comes to the discussions with our European partners is to have a constructive and civilised dialogue to look for the common interest here.

The government’s promises, which were made earlier this month to the UK’s largest producer of cars, Nissan, prompted the firm to continue investment in its Sunderland plant. Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn had previously warned at the Paris motor show that a so-called ‘hard Brexit’ could cause the car giant to reconsider its future investment in Sunderland, saying "If I need to make an investment in the next few months and I can’t wait until the end of Brexit, then I have to make a deal with the UK government."

“Our objective would be to ensure that we have a continued access to the markets in Europe and vice versa, without tariffs and without bureaucratic impediments. That is how we will approach the negotiations. It is important to manufacturing they get the minimum or no tariffs and no impediments,” Clark added. 

In the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, there were fears that large automotive businesses, such as Nissan and Vauxhall, would pull out of the UK. Several manufacturers have already raised their prices since the vote because the value of the pound has fluctuated.

Both car production and car registrations have yet to be affected by the vote, according to statistics from the SMMT, but industry figureheads are still warning that the damage may not yet have come into play. A smaller UK manufacturer, MG, has already ceased assembly in the UK for this reason, although it represents a very small percentage of overall production.

Mike Hawes, SMMT CEO, said: “We’re greatly encouraged by the Secretary of State's comments and those made by the Prime Minister last week. It is important that the Government makes it a priority to safeguard the competitiveness of this important and globally successful sector as we leave the EU. This means maintaining a competitive business environment, ensuring talent can be recruited from abroad and securing the benefits we currently enjoy in the single market - including tariff free trade unhindered by any customs bureaucracy."

After Nissan boss Ghosn’s talk with Theresa May, which he described as "positive and productive", Ghosn said the government "will continue to ensure the UK remains a competitive place to do business", but did not clarify exactly what was said.

He later said: “The support and assurances of the UK government enabled us to decide that the next-generation Qashqai and X-Trail will be produced at Sunderland. I welcome British Prime Minister Theresa May’s commitment to the automotive industry in Britain and to the development of an overall industrial strategy.”

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Comments
21

31 October 2016
The easiest way to give car makers and businesses, not to mention banks and ordinary people, what they need is to stop this madness before it's too late and call the whole thing off. How long will it be before every business that isn't a car maker argues, probably correctly, that they should get exactly the same deal as Nissan? A couple of days I imagine. Just wait.

31 October 2016
Going by SMMT's own figures I thought they had been affected, in that we've produced and registered more cars since the Vote. Do we have to wait till they go down before we can say they're affected by the vote?

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

31 October 2016
We may have produced more since the vote, but its TOTALLY unconnected to it, the extra production is due to extra demand from overseas aswell as the UK, plus many of the cars are within their first 1 or 2 years of production aswell and youd expect a new model's sales to increase in the first few years its on sale. Surely fool can see this ? !

31 October 2016
This is getting too messy, seems the lies are unravelling and no one is owning up.

31 October 2016
This is getting too messy, seems the lies are unravelling and no one is owning up.

31 October 2016
This is getting too messy, seems the lies are unravelling and no one is owning up.

31 October 2016
I may be missing something, but aren't tariffs applied on imports, not exports? Why would a government set tariffs on exports, when basic economics means every country in the world wants to export more than they import to improve their balance of payments?

If other European countries decide to set tariffs on cars imported from the UK, there's nothing we can do about that, other than threatening to set our own tariffs on car imports, in which case everyone ends up a loser....

So, seems a meaningless promise to me.

31 October 2016
I may be missing something, but aren't tariffs applied on imports, not exports? Why would a government set tariffs on exports, when basic economics means every country in the world wants to export more than they import to improve their balance of payments?

If other European countries decide to set tariffs on cars imported from the UK, there's nothing we can do about that, other than threatening to set our own tariffs on car imports, in which case everyone ends up a loser....

So, seems a meaningless promise to me.

31 October 2016
Precisely - Brexit negotiations havent even started yet and Mrs Fascist May is promising no tarifs from the EU on imports from non EU countries, its not in her remit to offer that . . . unless shes recently become head of the EU without anyone noticing ? I m sure this will just p*ss off other EU members and make things more difficult to negotiate a good Brexit deal. Lets hope we somehow have an election in the next 5 months - if a pro EU party/coalition gets to power it will over ride any referendum result.

31 October 2016
It's for the tariffs that the Qashquis an X Trails will incur when bought by EU citizens.

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