GOVERNMENT’S INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY MENTIONS STEEL JUST ONCE, WHICH SERVES ONLY TO CONFIRM THAT ITS APPROACH TO THE STEEL INDUSTRY CONTINUES TO BE CHARACTERISED BY A TOXIC COMBINATION OF INCOMPETENCE AND INDIFFERENCE

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Commenting on the publication of the Government’s Green Paper on Industrial Strategy, Stephen Kinnock, the Member of Parliament for Aberavon said:

“Today I announced the publication of the cross party APPG Steel 2020 report, which provides a blueprint for building a better future for the British steel industry, triggering a modern manufacturing renaissance, and forging a more resilient growth model for the UK economy.

“Our 85 page report - Steel 2020 - contains 43 practical recommendations for how the government can ensure that the British steel industry not only survives, but that it thrives. We spell out exactly what the government could be doing to reduce crippling energy costs and business rates, tackle illegal Chinese dumping, get a good Brexit deal for steel, develop a positive procurement policy, and work in partnership with trade unions to build a bright and prosperous future for our steel industry.

“On the same day that we published our comprehensive masterplan the government published their industrial strategy green paper. I welcome the government’s moves towards an industrial strategy, however, the measures and objectives outlined today show a real poverty of ambition.

“I was astonished to see that in this 132 page document, steel gets just one passing mention. That is simply unacceptable, and serves only to confirm that this government’s approach to the steel industry continues to be characterised by a toxic combination of incompetence and indifference.

“The APPG is therefore calling on the government today to make steel one of the priority sectors in its industrial strategy, and to set up a Steel Sector Deal, to carry forward the recommendations of our Steel 2020 report.

“Our report calls for a modern manufacturing renaissance, helping to rebalance our economy and build a new kind of more resilient growth. Essential to building this better economy is a thriving UK steel sector – steel is the essential component for the automotive industry, and as one automotive industry expert stated to our inquiry “local content is a very high determinant of where you are going to make a vehicle”. In short, without a UK steel industry, there is no UK automotive industry long term.

“If we, a small group of backbench MPs could produce as substantial a document as that which we have published today, it should not have been beyond the government to remember to mention steel more than once in their Green Paper, produced with the work of dozens of civil servants.

“The steel industry, the unions, the workforce and communities will not stand by and allow the government to complacently forget about and ignore our industry. So today we are putting the government on notice: steel is here and it is here to stay. We’ve produced an industrial strategy for steel, it is about time that they did too.

“And our message to steelworkers and their families and communities is this: we will not allow this government to abandon you to your fate, as they have once again done today. We will fight tooth and nail to close the gap between rhetoric and reality, and we will not relent until the government's warm words have been converted into practical action.

“The APPG’s Steel 2020 report provides ministers with a blueprint. If there were to commit to our recommendations they would not only be helping to build a stronger and more resilient steel industry, they would also be helping to build a stronger and more resilient Britain.”

“Our 85 page report - Steel 2020 - contains 43 practical recommendations for how the government can ensure that the British steel industry not only survives, but that it thrives. We spell out exactly what the government could be doing to reduce crippling energy costs and business rates, tackle illegal Chinese dumping, get a good Brexit deal for steel, develop a positive procurement policy, and work in partnership with trade unions to build a bright and prosperous future for our steel industry.

“On the same day that we published our comprehensive masterplan the government published their industrial strategy green paper. I welcome the government’s moves towards an industrial strategy, however, the measures and objectives outlined today show a real poverty of ambition.

“I was astonished to see that in this 132 page document, steel gets just one passing mention. That is simply unacceptable, and serves only to confirm that this government’s approach to the steel industry continues to be characterised by a toxic combination of incompetence and indifference.

“The APPG is therefore calling on the government today to make steel one of the priority sectors in its industrial strategy, and to set up a Steel Sector Deal, to carry forward the recommendations of our Steel 2020 report.

“Our report calls for a modern manufacturing renaissance, helping to rebalance our economy and build a new kind of more resilient growth. Essential to building this better economy is a thriving UK steel sector – steel is the essential component for the automotive industry, and as one automotive industry expert stated to our inquiry “local content is a very high determinant of where you are going to make a vehicle”. In short, without a UK steel industry, there is no UK automotive industry long term.

“If we, a small group of backbench MPs could produce as substantial a document as that which we have published today, it should not have been beyond the government to remember to mention steel more than once in their Green Paper, produced with the work of dozens of civil servants.

“The steel industry, the unions, the workforce and communities will not stand by and allow the government to complacently forget about and ignore our industry. So today we are putting the government on notice: steel is here and it is here to stay. We’ve produced an industrial strategy for steel, it is about time that they did too.

“And our message to steelworkers and their families and communities is this: we will not allow this government to abandon you to your fate, as they have once again done today. We will fight tooth and nail to close the gap between rhetoric and reality, and we will not relent until the government's warm words have been converted into practical action.

“The APPG’s Steel 2020 report provides ministers with a blueprint. If there were to commit to our recommendations they would not only be helping to build a stronger and more resilient steel industry, they would also be helping to build a stronger and more resilient Britain.”