UK GOVERNMENT MUST CREATE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FOR HEAVY INDUSTRY
A lack of leadership and planning in the UK Government has created great uncertainty for the future of the steel sector claims Marion Fellows MP.
Last Friday, Tata Steel announced that it would be halting the sale of its UK steelworks following a leave vote creating greater uncertainty for English and Welsh steelworkers.
Tata’s Lanarkshire steelworks at Dalzell and Clydebridge were taken over by Liberty House last year following the efforts of the Scottish Government’s Steel Task Force which comprised of stakeholders including trade unions, local authorities and MPs and MSPs of multiple parties.
In a Westminster debate, the Motherwell and Wishaw MP called on the UK Government to tackle the dumping of Chinese steel which is undercutting UK steelworks and to form a comprehensive plan for UK heavy industry.
Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:
“It is shameful there has been a distinct lack of leadership from the UK Government on steel before and after the EU referendum. The UK Government has failed to form a comprehensive plan for UK heavy industries and has done nothing to combat extortionate energy prices and the dumping of Chinese steel which is crippling the sector.
“It is clear that there was no plan for a leave vote either. Instead, both the Tories and Labour have been imploding over their own internal politics as the interests of steelworkers and their communities across the UK fall lower and lower on their agenda.
“The UK Government has been actively working against the steel sector’s interests at an international level. The Business Secretary was reportedly the ringleader of efforts to lift the Lesser Duty Rule on imported Chinese steel and the Chancellor has supported market economic status for China – both of which would make it easier for Chinese steelworks to undercut steelworks here.
“There is much the Tories can learn from the Scottish Government. We must start to see real leadership from the UK Government and a proper plan to tackle the issues facing the steel sector and UK heavy industry.”