Nissan’s CEO has warned that the car manufacturer would reconsider its strategy and investment in the UK if it were to exit the EU.
Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s chief executive, made this statement to the BBC at the launch of the car manufacturer’s new Qashqai model which is to be built in Sunderland where Nissan employs 6,500 people.
The Qashqai is Nissan’s bestselling car in Europe and current models account for half of production at Sunderland.
Prime Minister David Cameron has promised a public vote on EU membership in 2017 if the Conservatives win the next general election in 2015.
Mr Ghosn’s warning is unsurprising given recent reports and messaging from business groups including EEF and the CBI. Both these organisations have taken a clear pro-EU stance on the behalf of their members.
Commentators on Twitter backed up Ghosn’s warning to government.
Pat McFadden, Labour MP for Wolverhampton, said: “Warning from Nissan not surprising. This debate must be about investment, not just free movement of people. There is a cost to “out”.
It should be noted that Ghosn also said he considered an EU exit scenario unlikely.