Welsh Government must support Wales’ supply chain following Honda Swindon announcement, says Rhun ap Iorwerth.

Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Economy and Finance Rhun ap Iorwerth has urged Welsh Government to act quickly in offering support to thousands of jobs in Wales’ supply chain after Honda confirmed yesterday it would be closing its Swindon car plant in 2021.

As well as the 3,500 jobs at risk at the plant, 18 companies in Wales have contracts in Honda’s supply chain for the plant which has created a vast number of jobs and the Plaid Cymru AM raised a topical question today in the Assembly Chamber with Welsh Government urging them to act quickly and decisively.

Mr ap Iorwerth said:

“The announcement regarding the closure of the Honda factory in Swindon is clearly a very worrying one in terms of the implications for the supply chain in Wales as some 18 companies are direct suppliers to the plant including thousands of workers across the country, and of course those companies have their own supply chains as well, so there could be a knock-on effect.

“Some companies, no doubt, will be able to transition to new customers, given the relatively long run-in to the Swindon closure but certainly many will find it very difficult to replace their Honda deals, especially if those contracts form a large proportion of their total work.

“Welsh Government must act quickly now to assess the impact of the Honda announcement and outline what kinds of support packages are being considered for development to help those companies involved in the supply chain at this stage.

“Whilst Honda says their decision is not because of Brexit, there is plenty of evidence to show that uncertainties and nervousness about Brexit have been a significant factor in some decisions taken by car and component makers to de-invest in the UK in recent months and there are plenty of warnings about the catastrophic consequences of a No-Deal Brexit for car-making in the UK.”