Nissan will be compelled to reapply for almost £60m of citizen bolster in the wake of backtracking on a guarantee to construct its X-Trail SUV in Sunderland.
The government had to clarify its position after Business Minister Richard Harrington told the BBC that Nissan would get the £61m support payment.
Mr Harrington told BBC Newcastle: “The £60m still stands. It’s to do with research and development and developing alternative technologies and making sure Nissan is at the forefront of that.
“This was nothing to do with the X-Trail.”
Following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union in June 2016, Mr Ghosn had hinted that he would seek compensation if car exports to Europe were subject to tariffs.
Mr Ghosn met Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss the future of Nissan’s plant in Sunderland, after which he said he was “confident” that the government would keep the UK a competitive place to do business after it leaves the EU.
In the letter to Mr Ghosn, Mr Clark said: “It will be a critical priority of our negotiation to support UK car manufacturers and ensure that their ability to export to and from the EU is not adversely affected by the UK’s future relationship with the EU.”
Rachel Reeves MP, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee said Nissan’s decision not to built the X-Trail in the UK “is a blow to production at Sunderland”.
She added: “The government’s mishandling of Brexit, the reluctance to rule out ‘no deal’ and the lack of certainty around our future trading relationship with our biggest and nearest trading partner has made this decision sadly predictable, no matter what assurances may have been provided in the past.”