Wednesday 4 March 2020 / 5:35 PM Business / Rebecca Long Bailey

Labour calls on Prime Minister to act over the future of Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant

Rebecca Long Bailey, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to meet the bosses of PSA and Unite the Union, over the future of Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant.

The letter states: “The workforce at Ellesmere Port has been in limbo waiting for a decision on the future of their livelihoods. The government must now take action to provide certainty for the workers and their communities.”

She calls on the Prime Minster to meet the Chief Executive of PSA and Unite the Union “as a matter of urgency” to help unlock investment and outline a strategy to secure the future of UK car industry.

 

Full text of the letter:

Dear Prime Minister

I am writing to you regarding PSA’s pending decision on the future of Vauxhall’s plant at Ellesmere Port.

PSA’s decision whether to build the new Astra model and maintain volume vehicle production at the Ellesmere Port site was due last year but media reports suggest a decision is unlikely to be made before the end of this year, and will depend on the trade deal agreed between the UK and thE\European Union. The Chief Executive of PSA, Carlos Tavares, said yesterday that lie is eager to invest but only if there is an adequate business case and that government financial support may be necessary to ensure investment plant if the deal increases company costs.

The plant at Ellesmere Port employs 1,000 highly skilled workers together with many more thousands employed in the supply chain dependent on the plant remaining open for their continuing employment and is one of the UK’s largest car plants.

For over a year the workforce at Ellesmere Port has been in limbo waiting for a decision on the future of their livelihoods. The government must now take action to provide certainty for the workers and their communities.

I would be grateful if you could commit to meeting with the Chief Executive of PSA and Unite the Union as a matter of urgency and outline in response to my letter what assurances you are providing to PSA to unlock their investment.

Furthermore, the automotive sector as a whole is the jewel in the UK’s manufacturing crown but has been hit by a perfect storm of economic uncertainty, electrification and falling demand in key markets. At Labour Party Conference 2019, I set out a comprehensive plan to spur an electric car revolution, an industrial strategy for the future of car manufacturing in the UK. The plan included investing £3.6 billion into charging networks, £2 billion into three new gigafactories, 2.5 million interest free loans for the purchase of electric vehicles and a vehicle scrappage scheme amongst many other measures. I would be grateful if you could outline the strategy this government is implementing, if any, to secure the future of UK automotive in reply to this letter.

I look forward to your urgent response.

Rebecca Long Bailey MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy