Gareth Stace, Director of UK Steel, says: “The decision to leave the European Union will send shockwaves across the UK’s steel industry. Our sector is well versed in having challenges thrust upon it, but it’s clear that this is like no other.
“It is now more essential than ever to create the right business conditions in the UK that allow the steel industry to survive, invest and thrive. This will ensure that our vital supply chains, such as defence, automotive and construction, can rely on the production of steel in the UK so we are self-sufficient and can never be left at the mercy of others. Government now needs to fully and finally tackle head on the uncompetitive electricity and policy costs that have historically hindered the growth of steel producers and seen thousands of high-skilled jobs lost over the last year. We need to see all major projects, from HS2 to Hinckley Point to airport expansion, all using British Steel instead of procuring from foreign companies that offer no social value to the UK and its communities and economy.
“Government can now match words with actions and take the lead in dealing with subsidised exports, most notably form China, that are slowly destroying steel making in the UK. It must come up with clear and concrete actions to ensure that we can still trade with the EU, while at the same time ensuring that trade tariffs have the teeth to guard against dumping of Chinese steel. An exceptionally challenging ask, but one the whole UK steel industry stands ready to support.”