Although the Vauxhall plant is located in Ellesmere Port there around 400 people from North Wales who work at the site. It is am important employer and we need to ensure it has a solid future.
My Hon. Friend secured this debate and I support him in his measures to ensure the UK Government are protecting these jobs. But I wanted to urge my Hon. Friend and he Minister responding to work with the Welsh Government as well. It will require collaboration to ensure that decent jobs remain at Vauxhall.
Following the news on Monday that PSA, the French company which owns Peugeot and Citroen, had agreed a deal with General Motors for the rights to Vauxhall and Opel, an Urgent Question was requested by Justin Madders MP regarding the future of the UK plants.
As you know I have also written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, but I wanted to press home the importance of the Ellesmere Port plant for North East Wales. Many people work at the plant, but more than that many businesses form part of the supply chain for the plant. Meaning that many hundreds of jobs are linked, both directly and indirectly, with the success of Ellesmere Port.
I asked the Minister a two-part question. First, would he promise to work closely with the Welsh Assembly Government in securing a long and healthy future for Ellesmere Port. Second, would he promise the House that our car manufacturing industry will retain tariff free access to the Single Market so that we can sell our cars to Europe without barriers.
The Minister answered only one of my questions. He promised to work closely with the Welsh Assembly Government. But it was glaringly obvious that he did not want to answer the question about tariff free access. I believe it is vitally important for the country as a whole, if not certain sectors of our economy, to retain access to the Single Market. It means that there are less barriers to trade, which mean businesses have more money for jobs. Any barrier to trade will make us poorer.
I was disappointed with the Secretary of States answer, but I will continue to press, along with my colleague Justin Madders MP, for the future of our local economy.
I have today written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark MP, to urge action to be taken by the Government to secure the future of the Vauxhall plant in Ellesmere Port.
It was announced this morning, Monday 6 March 2017, that French company PSA, who own Peugeot and Citroen, have struck a €2.2 billion (£1.9 billion) deal with General Motors’ European unit, including Vauxhall. This will have a direct impact on the constituents in Delyn as many people work at the Ellesmere Port plant.
The Ellesmere Port plant has a contract in place to produce the Astra range of vehicles until 2021. I am is calling on the Government to put in place an action plan to ensure that this important employer remains in place producing world-beating vehicles.
The car manufacturers at the Ellesmere Port plant produce a quality product and have worked tirelessly to make the plant one of the most efficient in Europe. Hundreds of people who live in North East Wales work at the plant and they need reassurance from both PSA and the Government that the longevity of the plant is secured.
I have written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy calling on him to act now.
We need to know that the Vauxhall plants will have a fruitful future in the UK. That means that Secretary of State needs to promise that tariffs will not be slapped on the vehicles produced following Brexit.
I will continue to fully support the local MP for Ellesmere Port, Justin Madders MP, as we face this period of uncertainty.