PRODUCTION of the third generation of the Qashqai has begun at Nissan’s Sunderland factory, which employs more than 6,000 people directly with another 24,000 jobs in the supply chain.

During the Brexit debate, Nissan warned about the sustainability of the factory in the event of a no-deal exit, which Boris Johnson seemed to be driving us towards. However, an eleventh hour deal was done which appears to have made Sunderland more attractive as 45 per cent of the value of any car exported into the EU has to be made in the UK. Nissan has already relocated its battery factory to Wearside to ensure electric cars fall within this envelope.

So it is with some caution that we turn to fears around the Australian trade deal. We worry that it is minuscule, growing our income by 0.02 per cent, in comparison to the trade we have lost to the EU; we worry that it signifies that agriculture will be under threat in deals with other countries who have very different standards to our own, and we worry about what it’ll do to the environment if we are importing from the other side of the world when we should be shopping local.

Having said all that, we must acknowledge that there were great fears about Nissan yet it is still here, it has successfully come through the pandemic and it is still crucial to the regional economy. So should we have concerns about the Aussie deal?