Glenis Willmott MEP for the East Midlands and leader of the Labour Party in Europe has tabled an urgent question to the European Commission regarding the Government’s decision to award the Thameslink rail contract to German based Siemens, as opposed to Derby based Bombardier.
“The UK Government recently made the decision to award the Thameslink rolling stock contract to Siemens rather than to Bombardier, a decision which could cost over 1400 jobs in the UK and have severe implications for the UK train manufacturing industry.
Jonathan Faull, the Commission’s Director General for Internal Market and Services, appeared before the House of Commons Transport Committee last week, on 7th September, and spoke about EU procurement legislation and in particular its relation to the Thameslink contract.
“If the Secretary of State has reasons to say, ‘I want to look at this again and start again from the very beginning’ and remains within the bounds of the EU law in doing that, then we have nothing to say about it.”
Can the Commission confirm that the UK Government was not obliged under EU procurement legislation to choose Siemens over Bombardier, and that the directive does not prevent the UK from going back to the beginning with the Thameslink procurement exercise?
The Commission has recently published a Green Paper and has carried out a consultation on modernising the EU procurement rules, and we await the Parliament’s own-initiative report on this issue. Does the Commission agree that social and economic considerations are extremely important in public procurement exercises, and that Member State governments should be aware that these can and should be taken into account?”