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Nissan could slam brakes on UK investment if Britain leaves the EU

NISSAN could slash investment in its flagship North-East car factory if Britain leaves the European Union, Nick Clegg revealed last night.

The deputy prime minister said the Japanese car giant had already warned that it would review its investment plans if Britain walks away from Europe.

And he revealed Nissan executives had said Britain’s membership of the EU was a key factor in its decision to build the all-electric Leaf hatchback in Sunderland.

Nissan and its French partner Renault have several other manufacturing sites in Europe but Sunderland is the most productive plant in the EU.

Ministers hailed Nissan’s decision to build the Leaf in the UK as hugely significant. As well as the new car, Nissan also gave the go-ahead to build a battery plant alongside the factory despite intense lobbying from European politicians keen to see it built abroad.

The £420m project – launched in March – will create 560 jobs at the plant and a further 1,500 at supply companies across the North-East.

Nissan Sunderland already builds more car than the whole of Italy and several important new models, including a replacement for the best-selling Qashqai, are penciled in over the next couple of years.

Sunderland has also been chosen to build a new small hatchback for the group’s premium marque, Infiniti.


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