Duff welcomes European Commission enquiry into Opal deal

September 14, 2009 6:00 PM

Speaking from Strasbourg tonight (Monday), Liberal Democrat Euro MP for the East of England (including Luton) said he welcomed the decision of the European Commission to investigate the sale of GM's European operations to Magna.

"We need to know that the Opel deal was made on strictly commercial lines, and not affected by short-term blandishments by the German Government to favour German Opel over British Vauxhall. The EU's competition and state aids policies must bite here. Everyone knows that there is over-capacity in Europe's automotive industry, but what comes out of the inevitable restructuring must be viable, stable jobs and not panic measures to prop up an ailing plant in the middle of a (German) parliamentary election.

"The British government, which has been slow off the mark, must cooperate fully with the Commission's enquiry and send all relevant information to Brussels so that the full facts of the Magna bid and competitor bids become known.

"Meanwhile, all EU help to soften the social impact of unemployment must be used with skill and imagination in Luton."