There must be a future for steel in Newport

John Griffiths and I called for assurances on the long-term future of Llanwern Steelworks following a meeting with First Minister Carwyn Jones and Tata staff in Newport this week.

At the meeting in Llanwern, the First Minister told workers that he was confident a buyer could be found for steel plants in Wales, but was pressing UK Government Ministers to take further action on steel- including considering the use of tariffs to protect the industry.

I welcomed the assurances from Carwyn Jones that he is committed to doing all he can within his powers to ensure a long-term future for Llanwern and the Welsh steel industry. The news emerging from Scunthorpe  – that Tata have agreed to sell their plant there, along with two mills on Teeside – is encouraging, and shows that there is still demand for the high quality steel we produce in the UK.

The onus is now on the UK Government to commit to a concerted period of action to protect a key strategic industry. Intervention to bring down energy costs is a vitally important step. Newport has always been a steel city and Llanwern is a key asset which we must protect.