Anti No-Deal Brexit campaigners ready to stage demo outside Nissan
As crunch talks continue between the UK Government and EU negotiators, residents from across the region plan to highlight their concerns about what would happen to its economy if no agreement is reached.
The socially distanced event will be held outside Nissan’s Wearside plant tomorrow, Friday, December 4, from 4.30pm.
Nissan’s global chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta said earlier this year the EU was the biggest customer for vehicles built at Sunderland, with around 70% of cars from there going to the EU.
The firm previously warned the future of its Sunderland factory could be in doubt in the event of a No-Deal Brexit.
Mr Gupta also said a 10% tariff, which would be the default World Trade Organisation rate in the event of No-Deal, would mean such an arrangement was not viable.
The protesters, who have also held demos by the Angel of the North and the gates to Port of Tyne as well as earlier events outside Nissan, have also noted Britain’s hopes of securing an early trade deal with the US could have been dashed after Wednesday’s comment from President-elect Joe Biden that America will not sign a deal with anyone until the US has sorted out its competitiveness.
Group spokesperson Julie Ward said: “Nissan has been a key element in the region's economy since 1984 with approx 6,000 direct employees and many more employed in the vast supply chain.
"Nissan bosses knew the value of being in the EU in 2011 when the plant received a £189 million boost from the European Investment Bank for electric vehicle production contributing to early innovation to cut carbon emissions.”
“The Government's dangerous game-playing in the current negotiations puts hundreds of thousands of livelihoods at risk.
"It's not just the workers at Nissan who will suffer if Nissan choose to pull out of Sunderland or scale down their operation in the UK.
"In my village 25 miles from the plant several generations of the same family work at the plant or in the supply chain.
"Whole families and communities will feel the impact.
“On top of the Coronavirus pandemic the double whammy of Brexit will plunge many into poverty and despair.”