I have received the reassuring news that following the loss of 355 jobs at Liberty Steel UK’s Stocksbridge, Rotherham and Newport sites, that there will be no job losses at the Dalzell site in Motherwell.

The Scottish Steel Task Force saved the plant from closure and Scottish Ministers – in sharp contrast to their counterparts in London – are doing everything they can to forge a future for steel in Scotland.

This includes lowering trade barriers so our steel sector can compete in the global market; the Scottish Steel Roundtable; and the new Action-Group.

My sympathies and solidarity go to those communities affected. We in Lanarkshire know all too well the effects of a Tory government on our steel sector.



The threat of a no-deal Brexit from PM Boris Johnson is threatening our economy and manufacturing sector. Johnson must be stopped and a Steel Sector Deal must be implemented.




Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Marion Fellows, joined Scottish Government Ministers, representatives of the UK steel industry and trade unions last week to add their names to the UK Steel Charter.

Signatories of the UK Steel Charter pledged to help ensure the best possible economic benefit to the UK economy by promoting the purchase of domestically produced steel in public procurement in public infrastructure projects and to support the creation of highly paid, skilled manufacturing jobs and training opportunities in communities across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Scottish Government Ministers, including Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, Ivan McKee, and Minister for Mental Health and MSP for Rutherglen where Liberty Steel’s Clydebridge plant is located, also pledged to ensure the Scottish Government takes steps to support steel in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

As part of its commitment to the UK Steel Charter the Scottish Government has committed to:

– Develop a pipeline of future steel requirements in Scotland

– Require the origin of all steel used in future Scottish Government projects to be provided

– Advertise clearly all future opportunities for the supply of steel in Scotland

– Engage early on in projects with steel producers and supply chains

– Stipulate British steel standards within project requirements

– Require all tender applications to include supply chain plans

This news follows on from the liquidation of privately owned British Steel. Liberty Steel have confirmed that their Dalzell plant uses slab from British Steel, but that the necessary steps are being taken to protect production.

Commenting, Marion Fellows said:

“The SNP in Holyrood and Westminster are taking action and standing up for steel now as we have done in the past while the Tories refuse to take the proper action to support our manufacturing sector.

“Although the Scottish Government secured a future for Scotland’s two steelworks, Scotland’s steel and manufacturing sector in general are still being let down by the Tories’ poor industrial strategy and refusal to create a Steel Sector Deal.

“With British Steel citing Brexit-related issues, it is clear that the Tories’ obsession with Brexit and failure to get on with the day job is actively jeopardising jobs and businesses.

“Time and time again, warnings from businesses over the damaging impact of Brexit have been ignored and throughout the entire Brexit process Scotland’s voice and interests have also been ignored.

Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, Ivan McKee, said:

“I am delighted to sign The Steel Charter for the Scottish Government. It is a great example of the power of public procurement to be good for business, employees and communities in the delivery of our purpose to create a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish.”

Commenting on the Scottish Government commitment to the UK Steel Charter Gareth Stace, UK Steel Director General, said:

“I am incredibly pleased that the Scottish Government has today signed the UK Steel Charter, both symbolising and solidifying its commitment to our industry.

“As a significant purchaser of steel, the Scottish Government’s procurement decisions have a major impact on the steel industry and the supply chains it sits within. Today’s commitment will not only increase opportunities for those supplying steel into Scottish public projects, but act as an example to other organisations across the Scotland and the UK to follow suit. In doing so the Scottish Government will act as a beacon of good public practise. “

Iain Sinclair, Chief Business Development Officer, Liberty Steel UK said:

“This is an excellent initiative. As a foundation industry, steel is very important for the Scottish and UK manufacturing sectors and the wider economy. If government and businesses support our domestic steel sector when making their buying decisions it will help create a sustainable future for us all.”