Following this week’s announcement from Nissan that two new car ranges will be built in Sunderland, saving thousands of jobs, after "support and assurances" from the Government about the UK's future outside the EU; Ellesmere Port & Neston MP, Justin Madders pressed the Government to hold similar discussions with Vauxhall owners General Motors.
While the decision of Nissan has been welcomed, the Government has come under pressure to reveal whether a deal was done to secure the investment. This has prompted questions over whether the same approach will be taken with other key manufacturers, including at the Vauxhall plant in Ellesmere Port.
During a statement in Parliament by Business Secretary, Greg Clark MP; Mr Madders intervened and said:
“I certainly welcome the news, and I am sure that the thousands of people who work at the Vauxhall car plant in my constituency would be equally delighted if a similar announcement could be made in due course. When the Secretary of State addressed the Chamber, he referred to different strategies for different industries, but does he also accept that, within the UK automotive sector, there are different challenges from plant to plant, and that a more specific approach may be needed from time to time? Will he agree to engage in an intimate dialogue with General Motors, as he has with Nissan?”
The Secretary of State responded:
“I am not sure I would describe the dialogue as intimate, but it was constructive at any rate. Of course I make that commitment the hon. Gentleman.”
Speaking afterwards, Justin commented:
“I was very pleased to see a large employer like Nissan commit its future to the UK during the current economic uncertainty. I am keen to ensure that General Motors receives the same level of attention and gets whatever assurances it needs as soon as possible so that hopefully we can see similar announcements being made about the future of the Vauxhall plant..
“I have been clear from day one that while I respect the decision taken by the British people to leave the EU, it is vitally important that we secure the best possible deal for the UK. The decision by Nissan is a positive step and I am pleased that the Secretary of State has now committed to holding similar talks with General Motors.
“I will do all that I can to work with government and industry to ensure that local jobs are safeguarded.”