Rachel Hopkins MP
Rachel Hopkins MP's letter to the government, full text for ALT screen readers below

Dear Kemi, 

Automotive Sector’s Future – Luton Vauxhall Van Plant 

I am writing to you following Stellantis’ announcement on the impact the changes to Rules of Origin next year will have on their business operations. 

Stellantis are the fourth largest automaker globally (encompassing Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat, DS, Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Abarth and Fiat) and employs over 5,000 people across a number of sites, with one of its key UK manufacturing sites based in my constituency of Luton South. 

As you are aware, from next year, Rules of Origin state that vehicles exported from the UK to the rest of Europe must have at least 45% of its composite parts sourced from within the EU or UK. Automotive manufacturers who do not meet this minimum standard are faced with 10% import duties. 

A barrier to meeting Rules of Origin expectations remains the UK’s lack of EV battery plants and domestic supply chain to create the necessary parts. Stellantis has also said that it cannot meet the expectations due to increased raw materials costs during the pandemic and energy crisis. Furthermore, faced with 10% import duties, it will make domestic production uncompetitive against Asian countries. This endangers the future of the UK’s proud automotive manufacturing sector. 

I am deeply concerned about the risk it poses to Luton’s local economy. Our town has a proud automotive heritage, and the Vauxhall van plant has been essential to creating skilled local jobs for many years, including across supply chains and associated businesses.  

The UK Government must act to help facilitate the sector’s green transition and ensure our withdrawal from the European Union works for business. Supporting manufacturers’ transition to electric vehicles is an enormous opportunity for the UK to benefit from future-proof, skilled employment. It is an opportunity we must not squander. 

As I put to the Minister of State in the House of Commons today, I invite you to visit Luton and the Vauxhall van plant to hear from management, trade union representatives, and workers about the importance of government delivering the support the sector requires. 

I look forward to hearing from you in due course. 

Kind regards,

Rachel Hopkins MP
Member of Parliament for Luton South 

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