Hope for car industry employees - from the European Parliament: if only Brown and Darling would take the hint

Liz Lynne

New measures proposed by the European Parliament could help secure the long term future of car manufacturing in the West Midlands.

A cross party resolution in the Parliament has called for the European Commission to bring forward new rules making it easier for car manufacturers to secure loans from the European Investment Bank and to encourage manufacturers to continue to invest in research and development projects which will bring about the next generation of green vehicles.

The news comes at the same time as Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) have obtained a £270 million European loan to help safeguard its future after months of delays - move strongly supported by West Midlands Lib Dems, with Euro MP Liz Lynne and Solihull MP, Lorely Burt, among leading campaigners.

The Euro Parliament resolution marks the latest push by MEPs to force the Commission and Member States to agree on a way of helping the car industry without resorting to large no-strings-attached bailouts which quite often fail to address the root causes of problems.

The car industry employs 12 million people in the EU, as much as 6% of the entire population. In the West Midlands companies such as JLR and Aston Martin have already seen large scale job cuts and many car-part suppliers are worried about securing loans to help fund much needed changes in how they operate.

In a statement Liz Lynne, who is Vice President of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, said that the Parliament's resolution was an important step in ensuring the long term survival of the car industry:

"I am also pleased that the report has put an emphasis on the need to develop greener vehicles. The UK car industry has some of the best research and development departments in the world, it is very important that they lead the way in creating the cars of tomorrow if we are to ensure they can continue as profitable businesses.