Chair comments on Nissan and Government's Brexit Objectives

15 November 2016

Rt Hon. Andrew Tyrie MP, Chairman of the Treasury Committee, writes to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to ask for further information about the assurances offered by the Government to Nissan.

Commenting on the correspondence, Mr Tyrie said:

"The Government has not yet clarified whether any form of financial assistance has been discussed with Nissan to persuade it to stay in Sunderland. If it has made commitments that could lead to a call on public funds, the Government would have a duty to inform Parliament about them now. So I have written to the Chancellor to ask for clarification.

The position taken by the Chancellor before the Treasury Committee that "we are not going to give a running commentary on how we will conduct the [Brexit] negotiation and what our priorities will be within it" sits oddly with the commitments – on tariffs and protection from bureaucracy - apparently made by the Business Secretary, first in private to Nissan, then later to the BBC, and, later still, to the House of Commons.

A running commentary for a few firms, but not the rest of UK business, would be both unacceptable and counter-productive. The Government can and should set out its objectives for the negotiations, and sooner rather than later. By doing so it can allay concerns – fuelled by periodic leaks from Cabinet Committee meetings and by today's memo – that it is still unsure about them."

Further information

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