Here are the details of when I have raised the Bombardier issue in Parliament:
I have also raised the issue in questions 3 times in the House of Commons, starting on the day of the announcement, 16 June:
“Will the Leader of the House find time for a statement by the Secretary of State for Transport explaining this morning’s decision to award the contract for Thameslink trains to Siemens, which will manufacture them in Germany, rather than to Bombardier, which would have manufactured them in Derby? I think that the whole House would like to understand how we reached the position of having to export those jobs to Germany.”
and then on 23 June 2011 I asked the responsible minister, Theresa Villiers MP the following on the Crossrail contract, the next major rail contract that will be awarded (I had to force the question in as a follow up to one on toilets – such is the way parliament works at times):
“When it comes to providing toilets, and indeed the whole rolling stock, can the Minister assure me that there will be a level playing field so that there is a fair chance that rolling stock can be constructed in Derby in the UK, rather than in Germany as in the announcement last week?”
From discussions with the Ministers I understand that Siemens’s bid was the strongest one based on the detailed tendering requirements that were put in place in 2008 by the previous government. I have concerns as to how fair that tendering process was given some of the requirements which did not favour Bombardier. I have joined with some neighbouring MPs to ask the National Audit Office to conduct an urgent review of this procurement process, and to freeze the contract in the meantime.
We need to get the process reformed so that in future we do not play by a strict interpretation of the EU procurement rules and dutifully award contracts to our EU partners, while they seem to find a way not to award us any of their contracts. Indeed I asked about this specific issue in the house 2 weeks ago:
“This morning, the Secretary of State for Transport announced that he was looking into the impact of the European Union procurement regulations and how France and Germany manage to procure their trains from their own domestic manufacturers, yet we seem to be unable to do so. Given the great interest that there will be in such a review, may we have a statement or a debate so that the Secretary of State can hear the full views of the House on this controversial issue?”