Jacob Rees-Mogg Tells Caller Nissan Move Isn't Down To Brexit
4 February 2019, 09:51 | Updated: 4 February 2019, 09:59
When this caller claimed Brexit was to blame for Nissan's decision to move manufacturing of their new car away from Sunderland, Jacob Rees-Mogg insisted even the car company isn't saying that.
The car company were due to build their new X-trail model in the north-east, but announced that they would now be manufacturing it in Japan.
The Nissan boss said it was partly down to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and caller Terry told Mr Rees-Mogg: "It's turned into Project Fact, not Project Fear, isn't it?
"They did agree to build this X-trail in Sunderland, but now they've changed the decision to build it in Japan, given that Japan has a nice new trade deal with the EU. It makes business sense to build it in Japan, not the UK as business investment has gone down in the UK this year, by half a percent."
But Mr Rees-Mogg responded: "This is because demand has fallen. It's a lower level of demand, which makes it a different decision. It's based on different business facts, not on Brexit, which is what the company itself has said.
"So Terry, I think you're going much further than Nissan itself is willing to go."
Speaking about why they've moved, the MP said Brexit is "far from being the primary reason" for Nissan's decision.
He added: "The issue for many of the car manufacturers begins with diesel engines and the big push that emanated from the European Union to encourage people to buy diesel engines and discourage petrol engines.
"Car manufacturers set themselves up to make more diesel rather than petrol engines. People then discovered - actually they knew all along but didn't do anything about it - the particulates and nitrogen oxides were poisoning people.
"So the desire to buy diesel engines has changed."