YP Comment: Double whammy

THERESA May will draw quiet satisfaction from the latest GDP figures.

Nissan is to build its new Qashqai and X-Trail models in Sunderland

Britain’s economy grew – albeit by just 0.5 per cent – in the first trading quarter since Brexit and car giant Nissan listened to the Prime Minister’s overtures by confirming that it will build the next-generation Qashqai at its Sunderland plant, where production of the new X-Trail model will also take place in another unexpected boost.

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Yet, while Leave campaigners contend that this ‘double whammy’ makes a mockery of the economic Armageddon predicted by David Cameron, George Osborne and others if Britain dared to leave the European Union, growth is still tentative and provides Chancellor Philip Hammond with little room for manoeuvre ahead of next month’s critical Autumn Statement where he has to balance the case for infrastructure investment against the 
need to lower Britain’s budget deficit.

However, while the Nissan deal and this week’s long-awaited decision on Heathrow Airport’s expansion vindicates Mrs May’s approach thus far, it will take many more announcements on this scale to signal to the UK, Europe and the rest of the world that Britain is open for business, and that Brexit does mean Brexit.