INVERCLYDE'S SNP MP and MSP say that EE's decision to move hundreds of jobs out of Greenock is a 'fait accompli' that will not be changed by the company's consultation exercise.

Ronnie Cowan and Stuart McMillan both insist there is 'no chance' of EE retaining a presence in Inverclyde and that the plan to re-locate more than 450 workers to Glasgow is certain to go ahead.

The duo also say they believe EE bosses are being 'wildly optimistic' about how many of the workforce are going to want to relocate to Glasgow. It follows a meeting between the two elected representatives and EE bosses in the wake of the company's bombshell announcement last week.

Both Mr Cowan and Mr McMillan say EE bosses had given no hint whatsoever of closure at the regular meetings they'd previously held with the company, which is part of the BT Group.

If EE move ahead with their proposal as expected then the 450 jobs will go from Greenock to Glasgow by November.

Mr Cowan said: "I am convinced there is no chance of EE keeping any kind of presence in Inverclyde. They may describe this process as a 'consultation', but the decision has already been made. It is a fait accompli.

"This closure has been in the pipeline for some considerable time, and yet recruitment continued. I am very concerned that people may have left good jobs to work at the Greenock site, and may not be able to relocate to Glasgow.

"The management team couldn't tell me what redundancy packages are available, and the company does not seem to have factored in the impact on the local community of this decision.

"They have been in Inverclyde for decades, but they have no legacy plan. When I raised this point they simply said they are open to ideas.

"There will be no soundbite from me about how we can reverse this decision. I will always be honest with workers and constituents and the honest truth is that this move is going to go ahead.

"Any suggestion otherwise is dangerous and dishonest. Anyone saying that they can fight this or reverse this, because it benefits them in the short-term politically, is just offering the workers false hope.

"That is unacceptable."

Mr Cowan fears the knock-on effects of the closure to scores of businesses in the area will be considerable.

He added: "This building must be marketed properly because it has great potential.

"BT must also take on board what Stuart McMillan and I said to them about doing the right thing by workers who decide to stay with EE, or leave the company."

Mr McMillan says many of the staff have spent much of their working life at the site since it opened 26 years ago.

He said: "They will have seen hundreds of local people come and go over the last two and a half decades and the emotional impact this closure will have our community cannot be overstated.

“In addition, the economic shock that will be felt by our area will be huge. Not only does EE employ 450 in our community, but there are also many local businesses and retailers that benefit from their presence in Inverclyde.

“Sadly, there was little clarity about when this decision was taken, engagement with trades unions and the future.

"One thing that is clear is that the site will be closing. There will be no change of direction and no amount of wishful thinking will alter this.

"The consultation with staff will be vital but the estimate of 90 per cent of existing staff staying with EE and working in Glasgow is wildly optimistic in my view.

"Many people with childcare and caring responsibilities may find it challenging to stay with EE and this will have negative personal impacts and will add to the local economic shock.

“I raised a number of issues including access to contracts, home working, recruitment options available to people and trades unions dialogue.

"We will continue dialogue with them, including them providing answers to questions they couldn’t answer.

"It was clear that when asked about the economic legacy they will leave, they hadn’t thought about this.

“My focus is on ensuring the staff gain the support they need, ensuring EE give all staff including those transferring to Glasgow as much practical and financial support as possible, gain new employment for anyone who does become redundant and ultimately find a new tenant for the site.

"EE has a huge role to play on all fronts and they have a responsibility to deliver. Their workforce have been loyal to them and that that must be reciprocated.”