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Siemens boss: Why staying in the European Union is vital to our UK factories

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: December 17, 2013

Siemens boss: Why staying in the European Union is vital to our UK factories

Juergen Maier

Comments (12)

A senior director of Siemens has warned it would be harder to negotiate factory investment in the UK if Britain left the European Union.

Juergen Maier, managing director of Siemens' UK and Ireland Industry Sector, told a national newspaper business debate that such a move would be disastrous for British manufacturers.

Siemens has invested heavily in Lincolnshire, with factories in Lincoln and at Teal Park nearby and employs 13,000 people across the country.

Mr Maier reportedly said it is already tough enough to convince the board in Germany to invest in the UK for manufacturing, such is the competition from other European countries and with China.

He is quoted as saying that if Britain was not in the EU, Siemens would make it quite difficult for him to continue to invest in UK factories.

Siemens spokesman Rachel Odams told the Echo: "Our managing director of Siemens Industry Sector, Juergen Maier, during a round-table debate for the Sunday Times, spoke about the importance of Britain remaining in the EU.

"Juergen's key point was that leaving the EU would make inward investment from global companies, like ourselves, harder to negotiate.

"However, the UK is and will remain an important global market for Siemens.

"We have been operating here in the UK for 170 years and will continue to do so.

"In the UK we have 13 factories, including our gas turbine manufacturing facility in the centre of Lincoln as well as our state-of-the art service facility at Teal Park."

Bill Newton Dunn, Liberal Democrat MEP for the East Midlands, said: "The message from business is loud and clear. Thousands of jobs in the East Midlands every year are created by foreign investors, for whom a crucial factor is the ability to export freely to the world's largest single market.

"If we followed the lead of UKIP and many of the Tories, we would be losing that status and would be out of Europe all together, putting crucial jobs and investment at risk.

"We can better build a stronger economy by working with our European neighbours, trying to shape the rules that come out of Europe, rather than shouting from outside."

UKIP advocates leaving the EU but keeping trading links with Europe.

Prime Minister David Cameron has said a Conservative government would negotiate a new settlement with Brussels followed by an in-or-out referendum.

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  • jimub40  |  December 19 2013, 5:14PM

    In answer to you impetuos this country has brought wealth and prosperity to every corner of the world it has the best armed forces in the world best police fire and ambulance services i know having served in the armed forces in Northern Ireland and as Pete67 rightly says it has to have something special else why would so many people want to come here.

    Rate   1
  • cartyIMP  |  December 18 2013, 3:39PM

    1st it should be spokeswoman rachel and 2nd he would say that wouldn't he. It's about time we had a vote on the EU we though we were joining a free trade area not a pension scheme for failed national politicans and a bailout for failed countries.

    Rate   2
  • Pete67  |  December 18 2013, 10:46AM

    impetuous - - - It can't be so bad with the amount of people who want to come here.

    Rate   1
  • impetuous  |  December 17 2013, 10:34PM

    jimub40, I am interested in what you say. You say that you think this country 'always has been and always will be one of the best in the workd'. Can you provide evidential examples for that assertion please?

    Rate   -5
  • InsideStory  |  December 17 2013, 6:38PM

    I think it's very unlikely that Siemens will stay in Lincoln long term and it's only a matter of time before they ship it out .

    Rate   2
  • jimub40  |  December 17 2013, 4:59PM

    Very true rockmOnkey its not about business its about our sovereignty this country always has been and always will be one of the best in the world it helped create the world we live in today and i am proud to be British and people say Britain would struggle without the EU poppycock in the long run the EU would struggle without us the pound has backed up and help bail out the stupid euro time and time again and anyone with half a brain knows the two pillars of the EU are the UK and Germany take one away the whole lot collapses Norway is a prime example of a country not bound by stupid EU laws and corruption not the biggest of countries but quite well off and not subject to a bunch of corrupt ********s sitting in Brussels so yes rockmOnkey your spot on let the spineless politicians grow a backbone and give the good people of this great country their say.

    Rate   2
  • Pete67  |  December 17 2013, 8:49AM

    rockm0nkey - - - Your spot on with your post. We have no guarantee any more about any businesses in Britain. The only guarantee we do have is the idiots at Westminster will still allow the few businesses we still have to be taken over by Foreign firms, and many of what were our jobs going abroad.

    Rate   7
  • theknowitall  |  December 16 2013, 9:18PM

    We ought to care dearly about our factories and businesses. Not only do they mesh into the financial system in this and other countries, but they also provide a lot of people with some of the other valuable elements in life such as a living, training, achievement, pride and a sense of purpose. In fact the one thing this country definitely needs is more of it. Unfortunately the industry located in the UK is not on a level playing field with the other cheaper countries as we are having to uphold greater standards so perhaps it is about time these standards were enforced elsewhere. Then lets see who provides the best value for money.

    Rate   6
  • Arthrys  |  December 16 2013, 5:41PM

    rockm0nkey...and what control do the likes of you and I have now over the decisions made for us in Westminster?

    Rate   -9
  • rockm0nkey  |  December 16 2013, 3:01PM

    There is no guarantee that staying in the EU will result in these jobs remaining in the UK anyway. It is a fact they would prefer the cheaper labour of Eastern Europe as has been shown by the many companies already pulling out of the UK and moving operations there. Indeed, the Siemens chap clearly says he is currently having trouble keeping the jobs here while we are a fully signed up member of the EU. The EU membership argument is about sovereignty. It is about control of our country. Yes, economics is important but we must ask ourselves at what price are we willing to sell control of our nation for? The EU was set up with the goal of creating a European Super state. This is still its aim and membership is an agreement to push this forward. The fact that the three main parties refuse to allow the people a vote (between remaining a nation or joining what is essentially a socialist mega state) shows clearly that the LibLabCon know the people want out and are scared stiff to let us have our say. Other nations much smaller than the UK survive very well in the world. We will be fine. Vote UKIP and force these so called democratic politicians to give us our say.

    Rate   8