Imperial Tobacco is to end cigarette manufacturing in the UK after announcing plans to close its factory in Nottingham with the loss of up to 540 jobs.
The Bristol-based company, which employs 1,700 people in the UK, said the factory has the capacity to make 36 billion cigarettes a year but will only produce 17 billion in 2014.
It blamed declining industry volumes in Europe, which have been impacted by increasing regulation and taxation and the growth in illicit trade.
The company is also closing a production site in Nantes, France, where 320 people are employed.
Imperial Tobacco announced it will close its factory in Nottingham under restructuring proposals. The decision to shut down the factory will cost up to 540 jobs.
Chancellor George Osborne has declared his commitment to fight for "full employment" in Britain.
Speaking to workers at Tilbury Port in Essex, he said his "ambition" was for Britain to achieve the highest employment rate of any of the developed nations of the G7.
Former Conservative chancellor Norman Lamont has told ITV News he is "not in any way uncomfortable" with George Osborne's comments that mass unemployment would never be a price worth paying.
Lord Lamont famously said in 1991, "Rising unemployment and the recession have been the price that we've had to pay in order to get inflation down, but that is a price worth paying".
The Conservative government won't seek to lower the unemployment rate by creating "artificial" public sector jobs, which ended up destroying employment as public spending spiraled out of control, says George Osborne.
"You end up with more people unemployed instead of less. Then the politicians who make these guarantees get into a panic. So unemployed people are pushed on to sickness benefits to hide the real numbers," he said.
George Osborne has stated that it's his ambition for the UK to have the highest employment rate than any G7 country.
He also stated in his recent speech that the Conservatives are aiming for "full employment" in Britain.
Today have set an ambition for the UK to have the highest employment rate in G7- best place to create a job and to get a job
This week sees biggest personal & business tax cuts for 2 decades. Part of our plan to build an economy that supports full employment
George Osborne stated that it is his commitment to fight for full employment in Britain, during a speech today.
When Winston Churchill was PM; they set the first commitment to full employment.
(Yet) attempts past and present by governments "guarantee" a job to every person are doomed to fail.
There is no reason why Britain shouldn't aim to have the highest employment rate of any of the world’s leading economies.
To have more people working than any of the other countries in the G7 group.
That’s my ambition.
In his speech Osborne said he wants the UK to be the best place in the world to "create, find and keep jobs" as well as improving schools and reforming welfare.
Cutting tax for businesses as well as "building new roads and railways", with an emphasis on becoming a "world leader in science".
That is what I mean when I say that we are going for Full Employment.
George Osborne has stated in a speech that a Conservative government will "work towards full employment" for Britain, which includes cutting taxes for businesses and hard working people.
Osborne's "full employment" commitment actually means UK having the "highest employment rate of any of the major economies in the world"
Tory Chancellor commits to "working towards full employment"
British workers and businesses are to benefit from the "biggest tax cuts" to personal and business taxes in "two decades", says George Osborne.
He also said the benefit system will be more affordable and fairer, with Britain creating jobs faster than almost any country in the world.