MONEY does not solve everything. Yesterday’s revelation that the Government offered Nissan £61m if it manufactured the new X-Trail at its Sunderland plant at least shows the Conservative administration is not oblivious to the needs of North-East industry.

However, throwing money at this particular problem has not solved it. Nissan has opted to build the X-Trail in Japan, and the Government has been left in an embarrassing position where it is trying to justify its original decision to offer a financial sweetener while arguing over whether it should still honour some of the package in an attempt to persuade Nissan not to abandon Sunderland.

The whole thing is a mess, and Theresa May and her ministers need to have a serious rethink about how they plan to support the UK’s manufacturing sector after Brexit.

Financial incentives have their place, but large multinational employers like Nissan want a clear vision of Britain’s future trade plans before they start committing themselves to their factories in the UK.

They want clarity about frictionless trade and certainty about future tariff regulations. They want to know whether the UK’s safety rules will be altered once EU regulations no longer apply, and whether border checks will affect their ability to move goods into and out of this country.

Simply signing a £61m cheque was never going to work. The Government has sought an easy solution to a complex set of issues. A post-Brexit world calls for more inventive thinking.