How pleased I am that Wolverhampton North East MP Emma Reynolds has taken this stance on the Steel Crisis facing our nation.
Emma Reynolds MP
Tata Steel Update
Dear friend, The news earlier this week, that Tata Steel is putting its UK business up for sale, is deeply concerning. Tata employs several hundred people at its Steelpark site in Wednesfield.I wanted to update you on what I have been doing to call for the government to do everything in its power to save the steel industry.
Following Tata’s announcement late Monday evening, I wrote to the Minister responsible calling on the government to act to protect steel jobs in the Black Country. You can see a copy of the letter here on my website.
I have also written with a group of Labour MPs to call for an urgent meeting with the Business Secretary, Sajid Javid. The letter can also be found here on my website. Yesterday morning, I did an interview with Adrian Goldberg on BBC WM where I repeated my call for the government to act. My interview begins at 01:10:00.
This crisis didn’t happen overnight. Unfortunately, the government has been asleep at the wheel and has failed to get to grips with it. It is unacceptable that while Labour and the trade unions were talking directly to Tata, the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Business Secretary were all out of the country and not prioritising this important issue. For many months now, I have been calling on the government to take concerted action to tackle the dumping of cheap Chinese steel. As long as China continues to dump its heavily subsidised cheap steel on international markets, the price of steel will remain artificially low. Yet the government has continued to drag its feet and has resisted taking tough steps at the European level which would impose tariffs on Chinese steel.
I have called on the government to take temporary ownership of Tata’s UK business if necessary, while a permanent buyer is found. This will ensure that jobs are safeguarded in the interim. I do not think this option should be ruled out by the government. It is vital that a buyer is identified, who can put the industry on a firmer footing and is prepared to invest in UK steel.
The steel industry is a strategic asset for the UK and is vital to our manufacturing sector. It has been a cornerstone of industrial life in the Black Country and without decisive action it could be lost for good. I will do all that I can to prevent that from happening.
Emma Reynolds MP