Nissan and RBS warn against 'no deal' Brexit
JAPANESE car-maker Nissan and Ulster Bank's parent Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) are the latest companies to warn about damage to the UK economy if Britain fails to secure a trade deal before leaving the European Union.
Less than six months before Britain is due to exit the bloc, Prime Minister Theresa May has yet to find a proposal for economic ties that pleases EU negotiators or her divided Conservative Party.
The UK government has stepped up planning for a so-called no-deal Brexit on March 29, 2019, a step that could spook financial markets and dislocate trade flows.
Nissan, which operates the country's largest car factory, said leaving without a deal would have "serious implications" for Britain's manufacturing industry.
In the two years since the Brexit vote, Nissan has been restrained in public about the referendum. But its warning now shows the growing alarm among business executives.
"We are among those companies with major investments in the UK who are still waiting for clarity on what the future trading relationship between the UK and the EU will look like," Nissan said in a statement.
RBS chief executive Ross McEwan said the UK might fall into recession without a deal. Companies were scaling back investment due to the uncertainty and RBS was more cautious about lending to the retail and construction industries in particular as Brexit approached, McEwan said.
"Big businesses are pausing, they are saying that in six months time I'll have another look at the UK and I might come back, but if it's really bad I'll invest elsewhere," he added.