The opening of the Hitachi factory in Newton Aycliffe was a big moment in the history of the North East and one which has the potential to create thousands of jobs for local people. Phil Wilson, the local MP, and everyone else who played a part in ensuring that Hitachi came to this region, the birthplace of the railways, should be congratulated.
We have to recognise that Hitachi have chosen the North East as a base in order to supply trains across Europe, alongside the trains for our own East Coast Mainline. A central part of the appeal as a location is access to the biggest single marketplace in the world, the European Union.
The Prime Minister was in the region to visit Nissan and Hitachi and he admitted that they had both told him that they would ‘rethink’ their plans should we leave the EU. The opening of the Hitachi factory and expansion at Nissan is undoubtedly a good news story for us. However, we need to remember that risking our membership of the EU is to risk attracting other investments such as this in the future and, keeping the ones we do have.