Boris Johnson welcomes 'fantastic' Nissan investment in Sunderland

The Prime Minister visited Nissan's Sunderland plant this morning (1 July), after the Japanese car giant announced they were going to manufacture a new electric model and build an electric battery factory, creating thousands of jobs on Wearside.

The government has provided funding towards the investment, but has not revealed how much.

On that topic, the Prime Minister says, "There are ongoing discussions about ways we can support people who are going to bring fantastic green technology into this country, obviously they're confidential but this is something that is a massive benefit to the UK economy.

"Nissan is going to be creating about 900 jobs alone, then the battery gigafactory a further 750, plus thousands potentially in the supply chains, but what it's also doing is helping to lengthen the lead of this country in green low-carbon technology, and by increasing the number of batteries we can make in the UK, increasing the number of electric vehicles we can make, getting those economies of scale we're going to need so that the price of EVs comes down and they become more affordable than petrol vehicles and diesel vehicles, and that will happen far quicker than people are currently expecting."

Analysis by our Political Correspondent Tom Sheldrick:

The future of Nissan's huge Wearside plant was the most high-profile example of business uncertainty following Britain's vote to leave the European Union, five years ago last week. Nissan bosses warned a no-deal Brexit could make their UK operation unsustainable, with potentially disastrous consequences for the North East's economy.

But a last-minute tariff-free agreement was reached with the EU in December, and welcomed by Nissan in January. Under the terms of that deal, to avoid tariffs when exporting cars to Europe from 2024, more components will have to be sourced from the UK, and so making batteries on your doorstep makes a lot of sense.

There are currently unanswered questions about how much taxpayers' money is being committed towards this, and how much more will be needed elsewhere - but it's a day of celebration for a government full of Brexit supporters. A succession of Tory MPs have joined the Prime Minister at the new gigafactory site, one summing up today's news as "a big vote of confidence in post-Brexit Britain and the North East."