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Manufacture here, in an independent Britain

22 November 2018

Photo Workers.

Relegated to a small footnote in the business section of newspapers is the announcement that the German manufacturing conglomerate Siemens has signed a contract to build new trains to replace the decades old rolling stock on London Underground’s Piccadilly Line. Under the terms of the contract Siemens Mobility will design and build 94 trains worth around £1.5 billion.

No doubt the powers that be expect the low-key announcement to pass uncommented on. There should however be volleys of indignant anger coming not just from Londoners but from around Britain. Given our traditions of making railway and underground rolling-stock, it is scandalous that such a big contract is profiting a German company. 

We should not be resigned to developments like this. We should challenge them. And the best way to challenge at the moment is by campaigning to get a proper complete Brexit.

If we are an independent country, free from the shackles of EU policy, then we can tailor procurement and state aid policies so as to expand our economy and restore our industrial base. Manufacturing underground rolling stock will require the delivery of skills, training and higher rates of pay, and hope for the young of our country. 

Therefore we should do everything possible to create a political uproar and revolt against agreeing her dreadful deal. If we succeed and if British people continue to exercise pressure and control over the economy, then in years to come we will be able to travel on London underground lines and see the name of a British company on the carriages instead of Siemens.