The Chief Executive of Hitachi has signalled his opposition to the UK leaving the EU, suggesting that the notion is ‘ridiculous’.
Hiroaki Nakanishi, the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Japanese firm, suggested in an interview with the Times that free trade deals between the UK and the rest of the world – like those seen inside the EU – were the most important thing for his company when choosing where to invest.
The comments are significant for the North East, with a recent large-scale investment made my Hitatchi in Newton Aycliffe to build new trains. The plant will employ 730 people.
Earlier this year, the boss of Nissan, whose investment in its Sunderland car-making facility has seen over 34,000 jobs created in the North East through direct employment and relationships with suppliers, said that the company would reconsider its investment in the UK if it left the EU.
The comments made by representatives of the two manufacturing giants will be seen as a clear warning for the UK to remain in the EU for its continued prosperity.