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LONDON – The Stellantis group, which controls the Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroen and Fiat brands, has asked the British government to renegotiate part of the Brexit trade deal with the European Union and change the rules that threaten the production of electric cars in the UK. “If the cost of manufacturing electric cars in the UK becomes uncompetitive and unsustainable, operations will close,” Stellantis said in a briefing before a House of Commons committee. For the BBC, it is the first time that a car company has openly asked the government to renegotiate the terms of the agreement.
In England there is a discussion on the possibility of renegotiating part of the Brexit trade agreement with the EU for the production of electric vehicles in the country, requested by Stellantis. In a document submitted to the House of Commons, the parent company of Fiat, Peugeot, Citroen and Opel/Vauxhall, which has two production sites in Ellesmere Port (north of England) and Luton (north of London), indicated the risk of ‘significant losses of competition’, especially in electric vehicles. “If the cost of manufacturing EVs in the UK becomes prohibitive and unaffordable, especially compared to vehicles sourced from Japan and South Korea or made in the EU, UK operations” will be closed, the document said.
Spokesperson for the group “Stellantis presented in February a response to a consultation carried out by the UK parliamentary committee on batteries for the production of electric vehicles. It gives context to the UK government on the risk to the wider UK car industry, as well as possible indications such as a temporary adjustment of the trade and cooperation agreement, as agreed in 2019, which will resolve the issue. At the same time, adds the spokesman, ‘Stellantis remembers that he has invested in the Ellesmere Port site which will start this year’ to produce small electric cars” .
England it needs to improve its Brexit trade deal with the EU in order to have a “closer trading relationship”. This has been said by the leader of the opposition Labor party Keir Starmer, noting that in the event of the victory of the Labor party in the next general election – which is expected by the end of 2024 – he does not intend to reverse the divorce of the British but to improve it. compromise between London and Brussels. “I don’t think we should go back to either the EU or the single market. But I do think we should break down trade barriers. Starmer also referred to car group Stellantis which has asked the Conservative government to change the rules set out in the trade ‘deal’ reached with the EU as they limit the production of electric cars “We want to make sure that Vauxhall (a brand controlled by Stellantis, ed) and many others not only survive in this country, but thrive,” said Starmer.