THE long-term fate of Ellesmere Port's Vauxhall plant will be decided this week, according to reports.

Executives from parent company Stellantis are believed to be meeting tomorrow to discuss what the future holds for the North Road factory, which employs around 1,000 people.

It comes after the critical importance of Vauxhall to Ellesmere Port and the wider region was stressed in Parliament by the town’s MP Justin Madders.

Last month Carlos Tavares, chief executive of Stellantis which has been formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA, said the company was "relieved" that a Brexit trade deal had been struck.

Speaking at a digital press conference 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.

However, uncertainty over the long-term future of the North Road factory has remained after Mr Tavares spoke about how the UK Government’s "brutal" decision to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 could “destroy the business model”.

He called on the UK Government to show “willingness to protect some kind of auto industry in their country”.

Mr Tavares said last month that a decision would be taken in the "next few weeks" on whether it would be viable to make electric vehicle investment in the UK.

He explained: "Should we put electric vehicle-related investments in the UK or Europe? They would both contribute to rules of origin requirements, so both could work, but of course the biggest market is on the continental Europe side.

"So from that perspective, it could be best to put it in Europe. It depends also on the UK Government’s willingness to protect some level of its automotive industry.

“We are now deciding on where we are going to put those investments. Don't forget we have a strong asset in Vauxhall, warm to the hearts of UK consumers.

"We haven't made a decision yet, but we will make a decision within the next few weeks."

The Brexit deal's rules of origin requirement is for an increasing percentage of a vehicle to be manufactured in the UK or the EU to avoid cross-border tariffs.