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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 Alun Cairns Alun Cairns The Secretary of State for Wales 5:31 pm, 10th June 2019

The hon. Gentleman raises an important point about supply chains and that was considered as part of our conference call discussing the formation of the taskforce. Work is undergoing to map the suppliers who supply Ford in Bridgend. We plan to then cross that over with the same work that is being done in relation to Honda in Swindon. A supplier might well be able to manage better the hit from one automotive manufacturer. The hit from two could obviously cause greater challenges and we want to work to respond to that. On funding, whatever support has been provided to the suppliers to Honda in Swindon is equally available to those who supply Ford in Bridgend.

The hon. Gentleman again points to Brexit, but I say to him that the automotive sector was a strong supporter of the deal the Prime Minister and the Government have agreed with the European Commission. The hon. Gentleman would do well to heed all of the sector’s message, if it wants to repeat some of the statements that it has made.

In relation to opportunities, the Government are investing significantly in the next generation of automotive vehicles not only through UK Government public funds but through attracting private investment in this field. Some of these investors are looking at locations in Europe and in the UK, and those are the organisations that we are naturally engaging with to ensure that the UK continues to play an active part at the forefront of this sector.