Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

North East MEP speaks out against Alcan closures in Strasbourg

The MEP for the North East has spoken out against the potential closure of the Rio Tinto Alcan smelting plant in Northumberland in the European Parliament this week.

Mr Callanan blamed the threat on the EU’s obsession with environmental restrictions, which were strangling competition and putting 750 jobs at the site at risk.

Mr Callanan commented: “The emissions Trading Scheme and Large Combustion Plants Directives have caused Alcan to face serious competition problems.

“Closure of the plant will mean the direct loss of 750 jobs and many more indirectly

“I and many others warned about the knock-on effects of ill-thought out legislation such as this, but our concerns were brushed aside by over-zealous environmentalists whose fixation on reducing carbon emissions made them deaf to all arguments about the economic and environmental damage they were wreaking.”

Mr Callanan also accused the EU of exporting jobs out of the UK, which was resulting in job loss misery for thousands.

He added: “I wonder how many more of my constituents will have to suffer the pain of unemployment before the EU wakes up and realises that parts of its legislation is causing the slow but steady death of European business?”

A representative from the GNB Union, which represents many of the workers at the plant in Northumberland, was supportive of Mr Callanan’s statement.

She added: “We welcome any assistance which could help to secure jobs at Alcan.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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