Nissan chief warns investments in UK on hold until Brexit negotiations

Renault-Nissan, chief, Carlos Ghosn, has warned that a decision on whether to continue investing in the UK was on hold until the Brexit negotiations had produced a result.

Like many other companies, Renault-Nissan is now waiting to find out exactly what 'Brexit' meant and the kind of trade relationship the UK would have with the rest of Europe, when negotiations are completed.

Ghosn told the BBC, "I don't think today you can talk about any impact before we see what is the new status of the UK. The question of Sunderland – Sunderland is a plant which is a European plant based in the UK.

"Most of the production out of Sunderland is exported to Europe. So obviously for us the relationship which is going to prevail between the UK and Europe is very important.

''Okay, the UK is out of Europe. Fine. But what's going to be the new status?''

A spokesman for the North East Chamber of Commerce said, "It will be a decision for Nissan to take but what we want to see is action from government during the Brexit negotiations to ensure the North East does not lose out as a result of any new arrangements.''

The company employs 6,700 car workers at the plant in Sunderland. Ghosn was speaking 24 hours after new car sales figures showed previous strong growth had come to an abrupt halt in July following the Brexit vote.

Ghosn added most companies would want to see what would happen in trade and other talks between the UK and the EU before making decisions about investment in Sunderland.

Nissan, like other UK car manufacturers, had strongly supported UK's continued membership of the EU. However, Sunderland had strongly voted to leave the EU with six out of 10 people voting to exit.