LONDON, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Japanese car maker Nissan has confirmed it will remain committed to its Sunderland plant in the northeast of England as a result of the post-Brexit trade deal reached between Britain and the European Union (EU), the BBC reported Friday.
The car maker said it will move additional battery production close to the plant where it has 6,000 direct employees and supports nearly 70,000 jobs in the supply chain, according to the BBC.
Manufacturing the more powerful batteries in Britain will ensure its cars comply with trade rules agreed with the EU requiring at least 55 percent of the car's value to be derived from either Britain or the EU to qualify for zero tariffs when exported to the EU, said the BBC.
Hailing Nissan's decision as fantastic news, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it as "a great vote of confidence in the UK".
Some 70 percent of the cars made in Sunderland are exported and the vast majority of them are sold in the EU.
Last year, Nissan issued a stark warning that if Britain left the EU without a trade deal, the resulting tariffs on cars and components would make the Sunderland plant "unsustainable".
On Dec. 30, 2020, British lawmakers approved the post-Brexit trade deal by a large majority, paving the way for an orderly Brexit when the transition period ended on the next day. They voted 521-73 to back the trade deal in the House of Commons (lower house of the British Parliament).
The deal, which came after nine months of arduous negotiations between Britain and the EU, is the biggest bilateral trade deal signed by either side, covering trade worth around 668 billion pounds (about 917.1 billion U.S. dollars).
The EU is Britain's largest trading partner. Britain is the EU's third largest trading partner in goods, following the United States and China.