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Ford in Bridgend

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:31 pm on 10th June 2019.

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Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Energy) 5:31 pm, 10th June 2019

I have a few more questions.

The Secretary of State said in his statement that Bridgend faces cost disadvantages compared with other Ford plants doing the same work. How long has this cost disadvantage issue been known about and what opportunities have the Government looked at to overcome that and to support the plant? What opportunities have been identified by the existing working group, formed in 2018, to plug the gap by the loss of the Jaguar Land Rover contract and how will the new taskforce build on that and identify the much bigger gap and challenge that needs to be overcome? What future investment will the UK Government make to ensure there are no further cost disadvantages to any companies located in this area? The Secretary of State also said they were already looking at opportunities for investment in the area, so can he give timescales for positive announcements on the opportunities that have been identified?

I understand why the Secretary of State gave assurances about the other Ford plant operations across the UK, but how robust are those assurances? Padding out his statement by mentioning a £28 million investment in Coventry, £800 million in UK-wide grants from the Advanced Propulsion Centre and £80 million for the electric revolution programme is of absolutely no comfort to the Bridgend workers. What we need to hear is that the right actions are being taken now, not platitudes.