Hard on the heels of Nissan announcing a five year investment plan and a new model for Sunderland comes Vauxhall’s statement of its continued enthusiasm for plant and investment in the UK, with a new model here.
The BBC Today programme made as little progress in trying to persuade Vauxhall they should leave the UK if we leave the EU, as they did with Nissan. Vauxhall pointed out that they have an important car market in the UK that they wish to sell to. They argued that they assume there would be a satisfactory trade agreement with the rest of the EU if the UK decides to leave.
I am still waiting for the Today programme to ask about some of the advantages to business and voters of leaving the EU. It would be good if they abandoned their attempts to talk business people into wanting to cancel their links and investment with the UK were the UK to decide to vote to leave the EU. The BBC still seems reluctant to grasp that business invests in many countries all round the world that do not join the EU but trade very successfully with it.
The campaign to get business to make the case to stay in the EU is not going well. Polls of smaller businesses shows over 40% wanting to leave, and more bigger businesses accepting they can prosper here out or in. Of course it should not primarily be a decision for business or about business. It is far wider, a matter of who governs and whether we still have a UK democracy. There is now comment from Greeks and commentators that the Greek election was largely irrelevant, because whoever won has to follow EU policies. The UK as a non Euro member is not in such a chronic position, but there are an increasing number of matters that a UK election cannot change thanks to our EU membership.