PSA Tells It Like It Is
Advocates of Brexit have dismissed any negative projections about its negative consequences as “Project Fear”. The stratagem allows them not to engage with genuine concerns on the pretext that they are fearlessly striding into Britain’s future. It goes hand-in-glove with the idea that Europe needs the UK more than the other way around; that BMW will force the German government into a deal and that the Prosecco lobby is all-powerful in Italy. In the era of the soundbite and “fake news”, it has been a successful approach, but one that does not make economic reality go away.
PSA Groupe is a French based multi-national manufacturer of automobiles and motorbikes covering the brands Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and Vauxhall. It has stated that production of its Vauxhall Astra model at Ellesmere Port UK, is contingent on a satisfactory Brexit deal being reached. PSA noted that the Astra project: "will be conditional on the final terms of the UK's exit from the European Union and the acceptance of the New Vehicle Agreement, which has been negotiated with the Unite trade union".
PSA is investing in its Rüsselsheim plant in Germany and will make Opel Astras there from 2021. PSA also produce the Opel variant of the Astra in Gliwice, Poland.
There has been doubt about the future of the Vauxhall plant at Ellesmere Port since Vauxhall was purchased by PSA in 2017.
It is understood that PSA wants to see a Brexit deal which would ensure frictionless trade between the UK and EU (for goods) at a minimum. A “no deal” outcome to Brexit would almost certainly spell the end for the plant. 1100 people are directly employed at the Cheshire plant.
A spokesman for the trade union Unite was equally blunt: "PSA have made it very clear that no deal means no deal for Ellesmere Port. We are calling on the government to take no deal off the table so that the future of Ellesmere Port - and the thousands of jobs in the supply chain - can be secured."
Currently, both candidates for the Conservative leadership are embracing the prospect of a “no deal” exit from the EU although neither see it as their preferred option.