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"Bitter blow" - Business Secretary makes statement on Honda job losses

19 February 2019 (updated on 19 February 2019)

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Business Secretary Greg Clark made a statement to the House of Commons following Honda's announcement that it is to close its Swindon plant.

Honda has confirmed it will close its Swindon car plant in 2021, with the loss of about 3,500 jobs. This follows the announcement from Nissan earlier this month that it is to manufacture its new vehicle in Japan instead of its Sunderland plant.

The Business Secretary, Greg Clark, addressed MPs and informed them:

"I'm not going to understate what a bitter blow this is to the 3,500 skilled and dedicated workers at Honda in Swindon and their families, to the many more people and businesses who supply the plant and to the town of Swindon which has been proud to be home for 34 years to one of the best car factories in the world. It's a blow to the whole British economy."

He admitted that times were challenging for the automotive industry in the UK, but said that this was also a moment of opportunity for Britain to innovate and attract new and continued investment.

Responding on behalf of the Opposition, Rebecca Long Bailey said that though Honda had said Brexit was not a factor in their decision, the "completely incompetent" Government was:

"Honda's decision is a damning indictment of this Government's failure to support car manufacturing and ensure business confidence, both in terms of Brexit and in terms of their so-called industrial strategy".

Image: PA

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