Brexit Would Be A Betrayal Of The Moral, Political And Economic Principles That Have Underpinned Our Post-War Journey From Imperial Power To Global Partner
Nation states have been grappling with the forces of globalisation for thousands of years, and the United Kingdom is no exception. Ever since the Romans landed on our shores we have been an integral part of the international community, buffeted by the winds of commerce, military conflict and geo-politics.
With the passing of the centuries we gradually came to master the mutually reinforcing arts of warfare and empire-building, a process that ultimately gave rise to a period of global hegemony.
But the defining feature of the UK's role in the world since 1945 has been our evolution from imperial power to global partner. And we should celebrate this transformation because it has without doubt been morally, politically and economically the right path to have taken.
This journey has certainly been underpinned by a sense of guilt - the terrible legacies of the slave trade, the scramble for Africa and the carving up of the Middle East have provided successive governments since 1945 with a moral compass that helped them to navigate their way through to the modern era.
The parliamentary Labour party has raised the steel crisis in parliament 208 times since the general election. From urgent questions to opposition day debates to ministerial questions to PMQs and Westminster Hall, we have deployed every tool in the parliamentary toolbox to hold the government to account.
But our parliamentary work is the tip of the iceberg. Community union’s Save Our Steel campaign has had a huge impact, playing out on our televisions, and on the streets of towns and cities all over the country.
The Labour movement has shown, in no uncertain terms, that when we stand together we truly are the Voice Of Working Britain. We have shown, in stark contrast to the government, that we will strain every sinew to stand up for the 15,000 steelworkers and the 25,000-strong supply chain workforce whose futures are hanging in the balance. We have demonstrated the cost of inaction, and exposed the failings of free market dogma.Read more
Just over a month ago Boris Johnson discovered that he’s a Brexiteer. And only a few weeks later he’s come out as a Man of Steel. Two damascene conversions in one month. Could it be a record?
Building on his well-established track record as a passionate defender of working people, Boris has cast himself as the saviour of British steelworkers, bravely doing battle on their behalf against the evil European Union.
Ah yes, Boris has well and truly found the nearest telephone box, stepped inside, and re-emerged as a Man of Steel.
It would all be quite amusing, if it wasn’t so serious.Read more
Tory bungler Boris Johnson has suddenly discovered he cares about British steel. Just as last month he suddenly discovered he was in favour of leaving the EU.
This man’s opportunism knows no bounds.
Boris was in Wales today, but he didn’t come to Port Talbot – I’d guess the closest the Blonde Opportunist has ever even come to my constituency is a Ken Clarke style drive-by.Read more
From The Sunday Mirror
With the steel crisis of this week we have seen the Tory government at its incompetent and indifferent worst, and it is my constituents and thousands like them all over the UK who are paying the price.
That Tata would announce that they planned to sell the steelworks was always likely. Of course we hoped that they would back the turnaround plan, that is why Roy Ruckhuss – the brilliant General Secretary of Community, the steelworkers Union – and I went out to Mumbai.
We saw this coming, Mirror readers, thanks to the brilliant Save Our Steel Campaign, could see it coming, and the government should have seen this coming too. While Roy and I were meeting with and pressing Tata to accept the turnaround plan, where were the Business Secretary and Prime Minister?
The Prime Minister was away, and Sajid Javid had jetted off to Australia. Apparently it never crossed any of their minds to join our delegation to Mumbai.Read more
From the Sun on Sunday Web Link
THE fate of the British steel industry is in the Prime Minister’s hands.
His words and deeds over the next few days will determine the future of our manufacturing base — and of our national security.
Our focus for the crunch Tata board meeting last week was pressing them to back the Port Talbot turnaround plan.
Port Talbot is the key supplier to a network of plants across Britain, so it’s impossible to talk about the future of Port Talbot without talking about the rest of Britain. That’s why the Prime Minister must get a grip.
The worst-case scenario — full closure — was averted. That was thanks to the passionate Save Our Steel campaign of Community union, whose outstanding General Secretary, Roy Rickhuss, led our delegation to Mumbai.
The British government has been in a state of denial about the steel crisis, ever since David Cameron moved into Downing Street. They have time and time again failed to act. The steelworks at Port Talbot is the beating heart of my constituency, and in my year in Parliament I have seen a government that has a record of warm words accompanied by absolutely no delivery. It has been a litany of failure.
In stark contrast to the government, the workforce in Port Talbot has always delivered. They have broken production records, and they make the finest steel that money can buy. And this bias towards quality, consistency and added value that we see in Port Talbot is reflected across the entire British steel industry: our steel produces a trade surplus, its investment in R&D, training of employees and productivity are all higher than the norm in the British economy. It therefore has an impact on the wider economy not only through the supply chain of connected industries, but also in terms of skills, employment and demand.Read more
On Tuesday Tata Steel announced its intention to sell the entire Strip Products division of its UK steel business, including the Port Talbot works in my Aberavon constituency.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of the Tata Steel announcement, on both local and national levels. Locally, the Port Talbot plant is the beating heart of the community and economy, and nationally steel is a vital foundation industry: it is fundamental to the cars that we drive, the homes in which we live, the offices in which we work, and the bridges that we cross. Just under 11,000 men and women are directly employed by Tata Steel Strip Products division, and once you take supply chains into account that number rises to around 40,000 jobs. So, it’s no exaggeration to say that the decisions that were taken in Mumbai this week were amongst the most important business decisions in our postwar history.Read more
Tata Steel’s decision to seek a buyer for the entire strip products division of its UK operation will have a direct impact on up to 40,000 jobs across the length and breadth of the country. As such it is without doubt amongst the most important business decisions that post-War Britain has ever seen.
I landed in Mumbai on Monday morning, as part of a delegation led by Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community, the steel workers’ union.
We had travelled to India to make the case for a turn-around plan for the Port Talbot steel works, a plant that has been the beating heart of my Aberavon constituency for generations.Read more
As we opened our papers this morning or scrolled though the news on our phones we will have been greeted with the latest updates on the civil war taking place within the Conservative Party, made a little more juicy thanks to a certain someone who is most notable for his blonde ambition, along with more about the horror show of another notably coiffured populist from across the Atlantic.
In stark contrast to all of that gossip and punditry, something real is happening this week in my constituency. This is the week that the impact of the January announcement of 750 job losses at the Port Talbot steelworks becomes tangible. In a series of meetings this week the men and women who have given years of service to the works will find out if they are amongst those being laid off.Read more