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Nissan warns on its UK future without a Brexit deal

With a Brexit deadline just days away, Britain’s biggest car plant “will not be sustainable” if there is no deal, Nissan has warned.

The company employs 7,000 workers at its Sunderland factory but said that increased tariffs would raise costs.

It cautioned that any delay in overseas supplies of parts because of new customs checks could slow production.

The EU has warned the UK it has less than 10 days left to secure a deal that will govern trade from next year.

Nissan said there must be agreement on a free-trade deal by next week if it is to be ratified in time for the end of the Brexit transition period.

“If it happens without any sustainable business case obviously it is not a question of Sunderland or not Sunderland, obviously our UK business will not be sustainable, that’s it,” Nissan’s chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta told Reuters.

He said Nissan was not seeking compensation from the UK for costs incurred from any no-deal Brexit, after reports suggested that the company and Toyota Motor Corp would do so.

“We are absolutely not thinking that and we are not discussing it,” he said.

Additional costs

Nissan warned in June that the prospect of additional costs from tariffs and possible border delays threatens the viability of its UK business.

Mr Gupta told the BBC the EU was the Sunderland factory’s biggest customer and warned that Nissan’s commitment could not be maintained if there was not tariff-free EU access.

“We are the number one carmaker in the UK and we want to continue,” he said. –