BP

– in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 25th May 2004.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Michael Connarty Michael Connarty Labour, Falkirk East 11:30 am, 25th May 2004

What meetings he has attended to discuss the impact on Scotland of BP's decision to dispose of its olefins and derivatives business.

Photo of Anne McGuire Anne McGuire Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Constitutional Affairs) (Scotland)

Scotland Office officials have kept in close contact with BP regarding the impact of their decision. My right hon. Friend and I have not taken part in any meetings.

Photo of Michael Connarty Michael Connarty Labour, Falkirk East

I am very grateful to the Scotland Office for the interest that it has shown in the management of BP. However, a strategy group meets every Friday in the plant, consisting of full-time officials and workers' representatives from the Transport and General Workers Union, the engineering workers' union and the GMB. As my hon. Friend knows, that plant has suffered more than 1,000 job losses in the past couple of years. The strategy group believes that the productivity gains that were made and the synergies that were gained by losing those jobs are about to be thrown away, should the chemicals plant be split off from the rest of the complex. Will the Secretary of State meet the trade union representatives to hear their business case for keeping the olefins plant as part of the entire complex, and run by BP workers for the benefit of the Scottish economy? Indeed, that could even be to the benefit of the new company that might be floated off in future.

Photo of Anne McGuire Anne McGuire Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Constitutional Affairs) (Scotland)

My hon. Friend is a great advocate of the petrochemical industry not only in his own constituency but across the United Kingdom, and I welcome his comments. He will of course appreciate that ultimately, this is a commercial decision by the company, but either my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State or I would be delighted to meet him and a delegation of trade union leaders to hear their business case, which could be an alternative to the case made by BP.