Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, has said that the announcement by Honda of 3,500 job losses is “devastating” and pledged Government help for the Swindon area. Honda said that the job losses weren’t Brexit related and was instead because of global market changes.
Clark said in a statement:
“Honda have announced, as part of a global restructuring, plans to close their Swindon plant in 2021; and instead manufacture and export the new Civic model into Europe from Japan. As Honda have said, this is a commercial decision based on unprecedented changes in the global market. Regardless, this is a devastating decision for Swindon and the UK.
This news is a particularly bitter blow to the thousands of skilled and dedicated staff who work at the factory, their families and all of those employed in the supply chain.
I will convene a taskforce in Swindon with local MPs, civic and business leaders as well as trade union representatives to ensure that the skills and expertise of the workforce is retained, and these highly valued employees move into new skilled employment.
The automotive industry is undergoing a rapid transition to new technology. The UK is one of the leaders in the development of these technologies and so it is deeply disappointing that this decision has been taken now.”
Rebecca Long Bailey, the Shadow Secretary for Business, said in a statement:
“This is devastating news, first and foremost for Honda employees and their families, but also for the jobs across the supply chain and the impact on the local economy in Swindon.
This government has failed to create an environment of business confidence. The Tories’ austerity programme has failed workers and businesses, and they continue to show a total lack of vision or plans for investment in our future.
With Honda saying Brexit was not a factor, this Tory government shoulders yet more responsibility for failing to create an environment of business confidence. Businesses have lost faith in the government’s austerity programme and total lack of vision or investment for our future.”