Esther McVey appeared on LBC where she fielded a caller and responded to a question about Nissan's decision to move production of the new X-Trail out of Sunderland, insisting it has nothing to do with Brexit.
Nissan's Europe boss disagreed.
During the show, hosted by Nigel Farage, a man called in and asked McVey what she thought about the prospect of workers in Sunderland losing their jobs because Nissan is moving its production line to Japan due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
That decision for Nissan, and the car industry as a whole, isn't about Brexit, it's fundamentally been about what's happened in China and the lack of sales there, and about diesel and the changes there.
Nigel Farage added there was "certainly an argument about uncertainty."
However, McVey was adamant and used the example of a Financial Times article that had acknowledged "it was certainly about the diesel situation."
After McVey's appearance on the show, Nissan's Europe division boss Gianluca de Ficchy said the decision to move was due to the investment needed for emissions regulation and reduced sales forecasts and the uncertainty of Brexit.
He said the decision would be "interpreted by a lot of people as a decision related to Brexit", and:
uncertainty around the UK's future relationship with the EU is not helping companies like ours to plan for the future.
With the UK's departure from the EU on March 29th getting closer every week, we have a taskforce in place, reporting to me, that it is considering all of the possible scenarios and the potential impact on business.
Needless to say, people online missed nothing
So Esther McVey says the #Nissan decision not to make the #XTRAIL in Sunderland is nothing to do with #Brexit - Why… https://t.co/9Aszjx1SE8