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Business Secretary set to meet Peugeot execs in bid to save British jobs at Vauxhall

Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant employees thousands of Brits Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

British Business Secretary Greg Clark is set to meet with Peugeot executives in a bid to try and secure the future of thousands of jobs at takeover target Vauxhall.

Mr Clark headed to Paris on Thursday night to meet with the board members of the car giant's umbrella group PSA after it emerged they were in talks to acquire General Motors' (GM) loss-making European operation - which includes its Vauxhall manufacturing plants in the UK.

The French industry minister Christophe Sirugue is also expected to meet with Mr Clark during his visit to discuss the implications of of a PSA-GM deal.

Unite has raised concerns about UK jobs if GM sells Vauxhall Credit: David Cheskin / PA

Worker's union Unite has already raised concerns about what would happen to Vauxhall's 35,000-strong UK workforce after GM confirmed it was considering selling its Vauxhall and Opel operations to PSA.

Unite's general secretary, Len McCluskey, said on Tuesday it was his priority to speak to GM about what impact the proposed deal would have on the employees at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port and Luton plants and workers based in the UK customer contact centre.

GM President Dan Ammann has already met with Mr Clark and Mr McCluskey and assured them GM's aim was to put Vauxhall in the "strongest possible position for the future".

He said: "While we have no definitive news to report at this time, we can affirm that our objective in exploring opportunities with PSA Groupe is to build on the success of Opel Vauxhall and to put the business and the operations in the strongest possible position for the future."

If a deal went ahead it would transform PSA Group into Europe's second-largest car maker with a 16% share of the European market and see GM exit the UK and Europe.