The European Parliament, thanks to the leadership of Labour MEPs and their colleagues across the pan-European Socialist Group, today voted overwhelmingly against granting Market Economy Status (MES) to China. Commenting on the vote, Stephen Kinnock said:
“Granting MES to China would all but strip the EU of its ability to impose tariffs on illegally dumped Chinese steel. Today’s vote goes some way towards building the necessary momentum to save our steel industry.
For over a year now we have been calling on the British government to stop rolling out the red carpet for Beijing
But while Labour MEPs and MPs have been leading the fight against Chinese dumping and MES, the Tories have stood idly by and done nothing.
We are in the midst of the greatest crisis our steel industry has ever faced, a crisis caused primarily by the illegal dumping of Chinese steel that continues to this day, and yet we see the Tories blocking action, standing up for China rather than fighting for British steelworkers and their families.
The fact that Tory MEPs failed to vote as a bloc against MES, plus the fact that so many of them could not even be bothered to turn up, demonstrates once again that the Conservative Party cannot be trusted with British industry and confirms that the Tories' priority is to position the UK government as China's chief cheerleaders in Europe.
Let's now hope that the emphatic nature of today's vote in the European Parliament will help David Cameron, George Osborne and Sajid Javid to see sense, and to fall into line with Labour on this issue.”