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  1. ITV Report

Nissan deal agreed 'on post-Brexit EU tariff-free trade assurances'

Greg Clark said the government wants to keep tariff-free trade with the EU. Credit: The Andrew Marr Show/BBC

Nissan agreed to invest in its Sunderland plant after receiving assurances from the Government that it is committed to securing tariff-free access to EU markets, Business Secretary Greg Clark has revealed.

Speaking on the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show Mr Clark appeared to disclose more about the Government's post-Brexit negotiation plans than have been announced in Parliament.

Mr Clark said he was able to assure the Japanese car giant that the UK would be seeking a "constructive and civilised dialogue" with the other 27 member states on the terms of the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

Nissan plans to build two new car models at its plant in Sunderland. Credit: PA

Ministers have been under pressure to explain what deal the company was given when Nissan's Chief Executive, Carlos Ghosn, announced it was to build two new models in Sunderland after receiving "support and assurances" from the Government.

Mr Clark said: "Our objective would be to ensure that we would have continued access to the markets in Europe - and vice versa - without tariffs and without bureaucratic impediments and that is how we will approach those negotiations.

"It's my job to provide the assurances to Nissan and other investors that Britain is going to continue to be a great place to invest in the future."

Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer told ITV's Peston on Sunday that it was "extraordinary" that Mr Clark had told Nissan - and now the media - more about the Government's Brexit plans than he had told MPs.

"A plan is emerging, a bit chaotically, bit-by-bit, but it is emerging and Nissan has been told more about it than we have in Parliament," he told Robert Peston.

Mr Starmer said he intended to seek an urgent question in the Commons about the deal on Monday to find out more about what had been agreed.

"The Government has got to come clean this week and put the terms before Parliament because to learn of this in response to an interview this morning is the wrong way to prepare for these negotiations."

"There may be a financial element to it - I accept that. They say no money is changing hands."