Time to Save Our Steel

This is an incredibly worrying time for steelworkers and their families – both here in Newport and across South Wales and the UK – and whilst the reports emerging from India are deeply concerning, we are still awaiting a formal and definitive outline of Tata’s plans.

What is certain is that the time has come for the UK Government to step up its efforts to save our steel industry, and we need decisive and wide-reaching action over the coming weeks and months. If the expected sale goes ahead, Government Ministers must do all they can to lobby for a takeover from committed interested parties. If this fails, then I believe that all options should be seriously considered.

The global challenges the steel industry faces – particularly the dumping of cheap Chinese steel – cannot be underestimated, and no one is suggesting that there is an easy solution to the problem. However, this should not be used as an excuse for inaction and passivity on behalf of the UK Government at this pivotal time.

As well as being a crucial strategic industry, steel plays an important role in the fabric of communities across Wales; no more so than here in Newport where some of our largest estates – including Bettws, Duffryn, Ringland and Underwood – were built to serve the workforce at Llanwern in its heyday.

We need to ensure a future for steel in South Wales, and there is no reason why a well-supported British steel industry cannot play a role in major infrastructure projects over the coming years; for example tidal lagoon projects and HS2.