UK Steel Industry

Steel_graphic.jpgThe closure or reduction in capacity at major plants across Britain since autumn last year are a tragedy for the close-knit communities affected. I recognise the industrial heritage of Britain's steel towns and the very real threat to these parts of the country should the steel industry disappear. 

I sympathise profoundly with steel workers at Tata, their families and their communities, who will be desperately worried as they face ongoing uncertainty at this time.

Steel is important for UK manufacturing and it is vital for our defence and security. The industry is crucial to the UK economy and to those local communities it serves, and should be supported by the Government. The collapse of the steel industry would mean a £4.6bn cost to government over the next ten years, 40,000 jobs lost, and devastation for steel making communities.

In October and February I voted in the House of Commons for motions which called on the Government to take immediate action to protect the industry. On both occasions I was disappointed that the Government opposed the motions and that they were defeated. Indeed, Opposition MPs have raised issues facing the steel industry over 200 times in Parliament since last May. 

I believe that the UK Parliament should have been recalled from recess to discuss the crisis, as the National Assembly for Wales was recalled. MPs must have the chance to debate the future of steel and hold Ministers to account at the earliest opportunity. 

The Government should now take action to stabilise the industry, drive demand, reduce the burdens on the industry and restructure to ensure a long-term, sustainable future for Britain's steel.

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