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Elham AbolFateh

Automobile

UK government letter to Nissan reveals Brexit promise to carmarkers

Monday 04/February/2019 - 09:14 PM
Sada El Balad
The Guardian
The business secretary promised Nissan in 2016 that it would not be “adversely affected” by Brexit in a confidential letter released after the carmaker abandoned plans to produce a new model in Sunderland.

Greg Clark told Nissan’s then chief executive، Carlos Ghosn، that the UK government would do “everything we can” to help and promised a previously undisclosed package of financial support worth £61m contingent on manufacturing the X-Trail in the UK.

“The government fully recognises the significance of the EU market to your presence in Sunderland،” Clark wrote in the four-page letter dated October 2016. “It will be a critical priority of our negotiation to support UK car manufacturers and ensure that their ability to export to and from the EU is not adversely affected by the UK’s future relationship with the EU.”
Clark’s promise cannot be met because no Brexit deal has been struck with the European Union، and the government has not ruled out leaving without a deal on 29 March.
The letter، which the government had repeatedly refused to release، promised financial support for Nissan’s investments at the site. “I understand this could amount to additional support of up to £80m،” Clark wrote at the time.

In fact، the state aid package was ultimately worth £61m، Clark disclosed in a second letter sent on Monday to Rachel Reeves، who chairs the business select committee، setting out the position

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