The Journal, which publishes in the North East, quotes Nissan’s chief operating officer, Toshiyuki Shiga, who says that, as a foreign investor, he hopes that the UK will remain as an EU member. He claims that if the UK decided to leave the EU, the company could potentially experience two ‘obstacles’, namely, UK-specific regulations and standards, and EU imposed import duty.
Nissan’s UK manufacturing plant, which employs over 6000 people, is based in Sunderland.
Fiona Hall, MEP for North East England, is quoted as saying:
As it looks more and more likely that we are heading toward an EU referendum in the coming years, we are finally seeing business leaders make clear their support for the UK staying in.
Up to 140,000 jobs in the North East alone are linked to trade with our EU partners and, as Mr Shiga has made clear, leaving the single market would reduce our competitiveness and threaten jobs.
It’s all too easy to criticise the EU, and UKIP and the Tories have been recklessly talking up a UK exit with scant regard to the devastating consequences for thousands of people whose jobs rely on foreign investment.
And Nissan by no means stands alone. A poll last month showed 80% of businesses supported staying in the EU. That’s why the Liberal Democrats are unapologetically in favour of staying in the EU – it’s vital for jobs and growth.
* Mary Reid is the Tuesday Editor on Lib Dem Voice.