Brexit-deals must recognise the needs of the car industry; Caroline Spelman

The needs of one of the Midlands largest employment industries – automotive manufacturing – must be considered during any post referendum Brexit negotiations Meriden MP, Caroline Spelman, has argued.

During urgent question’s to the Prime Minister on Wednesday, the MP spoke up on behalf of local automotive manufacturers; including Jaguar Land Rover, and argued that ‘reciprocity between the UK and the EU would be absolutely vital in protecting the hundreds and thousands of jobs that depend on our access to the single market’

In his response, the Prime Minister acknowledged the significant growth of the automotive industry in the Midlands saying ‘Anyone who thinks that something of a manufacturing renaissance is not happening in Britain should go to that [Solihull] Jaguar Land Rover plant. Seven or eight years ago there were 4,000 people there; there are now 14,000’.

He further added: ‘It is a magnificent car plant and we want to see more of them. It is absolutely crucial for companies that we keep the European market open, and it is crucial that they keep investing in our country rather than in countries inside the European Union. That will always be an alternative, which draws into sharp relief the importance of maintaining strong access to the single market.’

Following the debate, Mrs Spelman said: ‘Whilst there has been steady growth in the UKs car manufacturing industry – including in the lead up to the referendum – we cannot ignore that fact that several car manufacturers have warned of a potentially negative long term impact on their business if Britain voted to leave the EU.

‘There will be no changes to the way the UK trades with Europe in the foreseeable future, it is important that we do all we can to safeguard local jobs and reassure companies like Jaguar Land Rover, that Britain remains open for business as usual.

To listen to Caroline's contribution to the debate on Soundcloud - click here.