Ever since Tata Steel decided to sell its Strip Products UK business I have felt that a management buy-out (MBO), based on the proposals that are outlined in the turn-around plan, was the right way to go in principle. But of course the MBO has to have the right team and the right financial backing, if it is to work in practice. That is why the due diligence phase of the sale process will be so important, and why I am very concerned about the tight time-line that Tata Steel has set out. It is vital that Tata Steel delivers on its promise to be a responsible seller, and that the government ensures that this is the case.
I know that the workforce stands ready to work with all potential investors, and I would urge government to stand ready to provide the necessary support. There are a number of credible buyers in the market, but sustainable success will only be achieved if the government starts to deliver something tangible on dumping, energy, procurement and business rates. Labour MPs have raised these issues 208 times in parliament since the general election, so there can be no more excuses, it is time for the government to act.