Leading article: Britain needs more like Ellesmere Port

 

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Once the basket case of British industry, car-makers are now the star performers in the effort to re-balance the economy and fulfil the promise of export-led growth.

The latest boost is GM's decision to build its new Astra in Cheshire, rather than Poland or Germany. What would be good news at any time is, in these economic doldrums, a ray of sunshine that is welcome indeed. Not only have 2,000 existing jobs in the Ellesmere Port factory been saved, but another 700 will be created directly, plus thousands more in the supply chain.

The Business Secretary must take some credit for his unstinting efforts to persuade GM's US executives to invest in Britain. More telling still is the pay-and-conditions deal the company struck with the trade unions. Such clear-eyed pragmatism can only be applauded. Vince Cable said yesterday this is a story that can be repeated many times. It must be.

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