THE critical importance of Vauxhall Motors to Ellesmere Port and the wider region has been stressed in Parliament by the town’s MP.

Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, now plans to discuss the long-term future of the car giant in a one-to-one meeting with a key Government minister.

In business questions in the Commons Mr Madders asked Kwasi Kwarteng, new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions there had been on the adequacy of Government fiscal support for the automotive sector.

“As the Secretary of State will know, a decision is due soon on whether a new vehicle will be built at Vauxhall Motors in Ellesmere Port,” Mr Madders said.

“Does he agree that if the Government are truly ambitious about investment in the post-Brexit world, securing green growth and the levelling-up agenda, they will do everything in their power to make sure that we get the right decision for the Ellesmere Port plant?”

Mr Kwarteng replied: “Since becoming Secretary of State I have met a number of representatives of our highly successful automotive sector to discuss future opportunities for the UK and to emphasise our Government’s commitment to the continued growth of the sector.”

Mr Kwarteng said he recognised the importance of the North Road plant to Ellesmere Port and fully appreciated Mr Madders’ efforts to keep it open, adding: “I want to see its future secured.”

He said he had met Vauxhall representatives and offered to meet Mr Madders too.

“We are committed to ensuring the UK continues to be one of the best global locations for automotive manufacturing.”

Earlier this year Carlos Tavares, chief executive of Stellantis, formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA, said the company was ‘relieved’ a Brexit deal had been struck.

Marking the launch of what has become the world’s fourth biggest carmaker, he confirmed there would be no plant closures resulting from the merger.

Mr Tavares said a decision could be taken in weeks on whether it would be viable to make electric vehicle investment in the UK.

“It depends also on the UK Government’s willingness to protect come level of its automotive industry,” he said. “Don’t forget we have a strong asset in Vauxhall, warm to the hearts of UK consumers.”

The Unite union has urged Vauxhall’s owners to draw up a long-term plan to produce electric vehicles in Ellesmere Port and the sister factory in Luton, Bedfordshire.

Uncertainty over the long-term future for Vauxhall’s in Ellesmere Port has followed comments from Mr Tavares about what he called the UK Government’s ‘brutal’ decision to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 which, he said, could ‘destroy the business model’.