Nissan reverses plans to build new model X-Trail in UK amid Brexit uncertainty

Global Business

Nissan has reversed plans to build a new model – the X-Trail – in Britain, amid growing fears the country is heading for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.

Without confirming it’s Brexit related, the company has confirmed it’s pulling the additional investment at its site in Britain’s North East. CGTN’s Richard Bestic reports.

Britain’s thriving auto industry, a major employer and contributor to the U.K. economy, sees itself as a victim of Brexit’s uncertainties. Car production has slumped to a five year low and investment has been cut in half, according to analysis by the Society of Motor Manufacturers. Industry leaders say a No Deal Brexit would be responsible for enormous damage to output; investment and jobs.

“The industry’s very worried and we’ve been very clear ‘No Deal’ would be a disaster. We need a deal. We need that status quo transition that gives you some breathing space to allow you to negotiate whatever the future relationship is going to be,” Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers said. 

Friction-less crossings at Britain’s ports are critical to the auto industry’s ‘just in time’ delivery of component. As it is for Britain’s retail sector: The heads of Britain’s leading supermarkets warn of empty shelves and higher prices if there’s ‘No Deal.’ Concerns exist across the U.K. economy.

A survey by the Institute of Directors warns that nearly a third of its member had either moved operations overseas or were planning too. Fears of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit have forced U.K. banking giant Barclays to shift nearly $200 billion of assets to its Irish subsidiary. The Bank says it can’t wait any longer for an agreement

There are also Brexit worries for individuals. Following reports medical supplies could be delayed, Jo Elgarf here is stockpiling the medicine needed to control potentially lethal seizures suffered by her four year-old daughter, Nora.

“I can’t go out and buy these medicines. It doesn’t matter even if I had all the money in the world, I can’t go and buy these medicines because they are prescription-only medicines. I have no way of securing my child’s future,” Elgarf said.

With continued deadlock between factions in the British Parliament and with Brussels, a ‘No Deal’ Brexit next month is rapidly shifting from a worry to potential reality, a prospect viewed by British industry with rising frustration and concern.