Nissan: Simon McCoy praises UK manufacturing deal
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This week, the owner of Vauxhall, Stellantis, confirmed its commitment to Brexit Britain by unveiling plans to build electric cars and vans at its Ellesmere Port factory. It came after Nissan announced a major expansion of battery production in Sunderland creating thousands of new jobs both directly and in the supply chain. In a further boost, BT has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) broadband constellation backed by the Government to provide “global” Internet coverage.
And Mr Morris, who is also MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, says the UK should be “very proud of itself” and dubbed the breakthroughs as “encouraging” signs.
He added: “The whole point of the Huawei debate was because we wanted to take control of our own security and Internet.
“It’s all about maintaining our global position now, as well as independence.”
The deal with OneWeb comes after the EU chucked the UK out of its Galileo programme.
Boris Johnson has praised the deals (Image: GETTY)
Nissan announced a major expansion of its electric vehicle production (Image: GETTY)
The Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) goes live in 2026, and will feature a Public Regulated Service (PRS) that can be used by government agencies, armed forces and emergency services.
The EU decided this “crucial feature” would only be accessible for bloc members, despite the UK playing an imperative part in its development.
Currently, Britain is relying on America’s GPS system, and Mr Morris said that relationship could deepen.
He added: “We have been talking with the US for some time about encompassing GPS.
“It’s only a matter of time before it starts amalgamating because our allies are in NATO.
Vauxhall’s owner has also committed its future to the UK (Image: GETTY)
“We are now in a position to drive our own agenda.”
The deals with Nissan and Vauxhall also mark an important milestone in Brexit Britain’s future.
BBC’s business correspondent Theo Leggett stated that the “outlook for the British automotive industry is certainly a lot rosier now than it was just a few months ago”.
It came after Project Fear claimed that the UK could be left behind in the car industry after breaking away from the bloc.
Brussels-based campaign group Transport and Environment (T&E) claimed that in 2018 the UK produced roughly half of all electric cars built in Europe.
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OneWeb has signed a MoU with BT (Image: GETTY)
But it said a lack of investment by UK manufacturers meant that by the end of the decade that figure will have fallen to just four percent.
Mr Morris rubbished the claims and stated the future looks bright for the UK.
He added: “We are the biggest carmaker in the world still and now we’re opening up more factories.
“It’s amazing that it’s created more jobs and the intellectual ramifications that are created with that kind of technology.
“We’re not just supplying to the UK, it’s the whole world.”
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) seemed to agree.
Chief executive Mike Hawes told the BBC: “The accusation that UK carmakers are not preparing for the shift to electrification is utter nonsense.
Project Fear painted a bleak picture of the UK’s future (Image: GETTY)
“The UK was home to the first mass-produced electric vehicle in Europe, almost one in four cars made here this year have been either battery electric or hybrid, and British brands have publicly committed to being among the first anywhere to be fully electric.”
As the deals start rolling in, Mr Morris agreed it “vindicates” Brexit.
He added: “We’ve always been the big hitter in Europe, all we are doing now is carrying that on for ourselves.
“That is what Brexit is about, it’s so we don’t have the political interference, as well as the agenda that the EU has.
“We were driving a lot of it and Britons decided it was time for us to step back on our own.
“We’re punching above our weight.”
Elon Musk could provide a further boost (Image: GETTY)
And Tesla owner Elon Musk could be set to deliver an even bigger blow to Project Fear – after he was strongly linked with opening a “gigafactory at a currently under construction “smart campus” in Somerset, called Gravity.
Experts have noted a Tesla plant located in a country operating a right-hand drive system would be a “smart move” as it continues its rapid global expansion.
The low-carbon business park, which spans over 27 million square feet on the site of a former Royal Ordnance factory, has been mooted as the perfect location.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said in May that Somerset “has the manufacturing skill and competence to be able to sustain an excellent gigafactory,” adding that the Government is “considering and looking” at the site.