Corbyn: "Nissan investment must be continued"

The Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has told ITV News Tyne Tees that Nissan's investment in the North East must be continued.

Speaking on a visit to the region to mark 80 years since the Jarrow March, he said he wanted to speak to the company to find out exactly what it wants to maintain its investment in the area after Britain leaves the European Union.

"The key has to be this huge investment that's gone in here must be continued. Nissan are saying at the moment they are pausing that. I want investment to continue so I would rather talk to Nissan about it, even in opposition we’ll talk to Nissan about it, and find out exactly what they want."

– Jeremy Corbyn MP, Labour Leader

Nissan is concerned that tariffs could be placed on British goods, making them more expensive for buyers overseas.

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The Japanese car manufacture which builds 500,000 cars a year on Wearside wants the UK to pledge compensation for any tax barriers that may be raised as a result of leaving the European Union.

"If I need to make an investment in the next few months and I can’t wait until the end of Brexit, then I have to make a deal with the UK Government. If there are tax barriers being established on cars, you have to have a commitment for carmakers who export to Europe that there is some kind of compensation.”

– Carlos Ghosn, CEO, Nissan

Mr. Corbyn stopped short of promising financial aid but said he did want to make sure Britain negotiates a good working relationship with Europe.

Local Councillor, John McCabe, said Mr Corbyn's approach is wise. He said, "we don't know exactly what's going to happen with tariffs so it's a bit premature for him to give a sensible comment on that decision, because we don't know what the facts are and we don't know what the exit deal is at the moment".

The grandson of the Jarrow March organiser, Peter Tarrack, said Mr Corbyn should not have to negotiate with Nissan over jobs if he becomes Prime Minister.

"He's got to watch what he's saying, but I haven't got to watch what I'm saying. As far as I'm concerned I think I would call their bluff, because if the profit margins are still there they will still make cars. If the profit margin is not there like they proved in Jarrow in the 1930s, they will shut down the factory. If Nissan want more money, they are just trying their hand as far as I'm concerned, like all multinationals do."

– Peter Tarrack, Grandson of Jarrow Marcher