Nissan becomes latest manufacturer to warn against hard Brexit

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Carmaker says success of Sunderland operations enabled by frictionless trade with EU

The Japanese carmaker Nissan has warned the government that serious disruption will be caused to its huge manufacturing operation in the north-east of England if the UK fails to secure a deal with the EU that avoids a hard Brexit.

Carlos Ghosn, the chair of Nissan, has described its British operations as “a European investment based in the UK”, which employs almost 8,000 people, mostly at its factory near Sunderland. A further 30,000 people are employed in UK companies supplying Nissan.

Like the other car manufacturers that use the UK as a base for exporting to the EU, Nissan relies on rapid, “just in time” importing of millions of components from the EU every day, with no customs delays or tariffs.

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