Mandelson plea to regulators over Vauxhall plants
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson today urged European regulators to ensure that the future of the UK's Vauxhall plants was not placed at risk as a result of a "political fix".
The sale of General Motors' European operations to car parts giant Magna, backed by the Russian Sberbank, has left the Vauxhall workforce concerned that the Ellesmere Port and Luton plants will close.
The deal follows intense lobbying and a package of financial support from the government in Germany, where GM's Opel arm is a major manufacturer.
Lord Mandelson told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "I think this is going to trigger quite a debate and quite an examination by the European Commission."
He said: "European governments and the commission will want to drill down into the business plans and the financial contributions by the various governments to see that European state aid rules in this Magna-GM deal are being respected."
Union officials fear the sale will save more jobs in Germany than in other European countries where GM has factories.
Vauxhall employs 5,500 people in the UK at its plants in Ellesmere Port and Luton.
Lord Mandelson said: "The commission should not accept anything that looks like a political fix or any linkage between aid and retention of jobs in any specific plant or country.
"Our Vauxhall plants at Ellesmere Port and Luton are highly efficient and I am sure, and insist, that this be recognised.
"So there will be some tough, detailed negotiations that lie ahead and it is important that the European Commission takes a role and a hand in these negotiations."
When the deal was announced last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a news conference in Berlin that the move was the outcome her government had been working towards as it fought to preserve the firm's 25,000 jobs and four plants in Germany.
- 2 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Mafia's wall of silence broken: Victim of Cosa Nostra's extortion rackets in its Corleone heartland co-operates with authorities for the first time ever
Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Sir David Attenborough interview: The one question about life that still baffles him
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...
£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...