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Nissan 'halts investment plans' while it remains 'in the dark' over Brexit plans, according to reports

Car manufacturing giant Nissan is putting its investment plans in the UK on hold until there is more certainty over Brexit, according to reports.

The company's chairman and chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, is said to have announced the Japanese firm is deferring all long-term business decisions while it remains "in the dark" about Britain's future relationship with the EU.

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Mr Ghosn is quoted by the BBC as saying that the company's investment plans would be put on hold until there was more clarity.

Related: Sunderland MP to meet with Nissan bosses over firm's Brexit investment freeze

It comes a week after Airbus and BMW both expressed concerns over the progress of Brexit talks.

Airnbus said it could leave the UK and cut thousands of jobs if the UK leaves the single market and customs union without a transition deal.

Related: ‘Devastating’, ‘scaremongering’ and ‘madness’ - readers react to Nissan’s pause on UK investment plans

Nissan employs 7,000 people at its Sunderland plant and supports almost 30,000 more in its supply chain, the vast majority of which is based in the North East.

The company confirmed in April that it has started discussions with employees, aimed at reducing the number of permanent salaried positions at the plant.

Related: Sunderland MP to speak to with Nissan bosses over firm's Brexit investment freeze

Nissan bosses had previously vowed to work with the Government to secure the long-term future of the firm’s Sunderland plant after Brexit.

There was also relief and joy in October 2016, just a few months after the Brexit vote, when Nissan announced it would build two new models - the Qashqai and X-Trail - in Sunderland.

But Nissan bosses later said the company would "re-evaluate the situation" once the final deal is concluded.

The latest news on Nissan halting its investment plans comes a day after The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) blamed a lack of certainty over the UK's future trading relationship with Europe for a 50% fall in investment in the British motor industry.

Related - Nissan and Brexit: Key quotes from leaders on how the UK leaving the EU could impact on Sunderland plant



The SMMT said £347million of investment was earmarked for new models and facilities in the UK in the first half of this year, compared with £647.4million in the same period in 2017.

The trade association is calling for the Government to safeguard jobs in the sector and to end the current uncertainty about the UK's future trading relationship with the EU post-Brexit.

Chief executive Mike Hawes said: "There is growing frustration in global boardrooms at the slow pace of negotiations."