The Government has been accused of “dangerous complacency” over its attempts to avoid the Coryton oil refinery closure.
With over 800 jobs going as the refinery turns into a terminal, Baroness Smith of Basildon (the Opposition spokesperson for the Home Office) has questioned why the Government didn’t step in to save it.
Writing on Politics Home, the former MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock said: “Why is it that in a similar position the French Government invested to protect its national refining capacity and jobs, yet this Government refused to help citing European State Aids laws and adequate capacity in Europe?”
She warned: “Once the refining capacity is gone and the site is converted to a depot to receive imports of refined fuel we’ll never be able to get it back.”
Energy Minister Charles Hendry has defended the governments role citing overcapacity in the refining industry and declining demand for petrol.
The Baroness has also pointed to the deep hole and consequences that will be felt in the Thurrock economy.
with hundreds of job losses and an estimated £50 million to £1 billion black hole in the local economy.