Nissan wants Britain to pledge compensation for any tax barriers resulting from its decision to leave the European Union or the automaker could scrap a potential new investment in the country's biggest car plant, its CEO said Thursday.

Carlos Ghosn's remarks indicate growing concern among global carmakers that Britain could be heading toward a hard exit from the EU, which would leave them paying tariffs to export U.K.-assembled cars to EU markets.

Nissan, which builds around a third of Britain's total car output at its plant in Sunderland, northeast England, is due to decide early next year on where to build its next Qashqai sport utility vehicle.