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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Theresa May agrees to meet Peugeot boss to discuss General Motors proposal

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The UK’s Prime Minister is set to meet the chief executive of the PSA Group to discuss Peugeot’s proposals to buy General Motors’ European operation, including Vauxhall.

Theresa May has received a request for a meeting with Carlos Tavares to discuss the proposal, which could affect thousands of British workers.

The Peugeot boss is also set to hold talks with the leader of Britain’s biggest union Unite to discuss the situation.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “We can confirm we have received a meeting request. The meeting will take place, in principle, subject to diary availability.”

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey will meet Mr Tavares next week in the latest in a series of talks he has held to help avoid any job losses.

He said: “I am pleased that Carlos Tavares has responded speedily and positively to my request for a meeting to discuss Peugeot’s intentions towards our Vauxhall plants.

“I will be using this meeting to press the case for the UK’s world class facilities and workforce, and ensuring that Mr Tavares and the PSA Group understand fully that Luton, Toddington and Ellesmere Port, and thousands of dedicated UK workers, deserve a strong backer and a positive future.”

Business Secretary Greg Clark, who visited Paris on Thursday for talks with PSA Group and French ministers, is expected to join Mrs May at the meeting with Mr Tavares.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said it expected the meeting will take place next week.

PSA Group said it was engaged in a “constructive dialogue” with all parties involved in the bid for GM’s European division, which includes German-based Opel as well as Vauxhall.

A spokesman said: “Our intention is to establish the same maturity in our exchanges in France, Germany and the UK. This is why Carlos Tavares has asked to meet Theresa May as it was done with German authorities.

“In the spirit of co-construction that is driving the PSA Group on a daily basis its own trade union representatives in France, the same approach is obviously being taken to contact the trade union organisations in Germany and the UK.”

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