• European Union governments have a financial stake in exporting the jobs of British General Motors workers to Eastern Europe as they hold an equity stake in one General Motors plant in Russia, and provided € 70m in soft loans to finance another.
UKIP Transport Spokesman Mike Nattrass MEP said it was 'eerily reminiscent' of the situation in 2005 when Peugeot closed its Ryton plant in the UK to move into a purpose built facility in Slovakia which had been financed by EU grants.
He continued, "Here we have a supranational bank, entirely financed by taxpayers, taking equity in one General Motors plant and financing the construction of another. In other words, once again, British taxpayers are subsidising the export of their own jobs.
"When the government talks about protecting British workers jobs, how can it do this when it indirectly owns a stake in a competing plant in Russia?"
Mr Nattrass said that in 2002, the EBRD had taken a 30% equity stake in a joint General Motors/VAZ manufacturing deal as part of an equity financing initiative in Russia. This was followed by a further € 70m in soft loans provided last year for the construction of a greenfield plant near St Petersburg, despite General Motors financial difficulties.
"When the government talks about investing for the future, most of us assume it is talking about investing in Britain. It is clear, however, that it views the jobs of Russian car workers as a higher priority than the jobs of their British equivalents. So much for British jobs for British workers."
Details of the equity finance deal and the subsequent soft loan can be found in the project summaries at www.ebrd.org.
Mark CROUCHER +32-470-841644