Retaining The Order Book And Customer Base Is Critical For The Welsh Steel Industry

 

 

My question to the Secretary of State for Wales about importance of retaining the order book and customer base at Port Talbot steel works:

Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon) (Lab): What steps the Government are taking to support the steel industry in Wales.

My question to the Secretary of State for Wales about importance of retaining the order book and customer base at Port Talbot steel works:

Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon) (Lab): What steps the Government are taking to support the steel industry in Wales.

​The Secretary of State for Wales (Alun Cairns): We have been in extensive discussions with Tata for months, and it is due to Government intervention that Tata has agreed to a sales process rather than an immediate closure of its operations in Wales. I spoke to the hon. Gentleman before he went to the Tata meeting in Mumbai and have spoken to him since. I am keen to stay in regular contact in order to update him as the position changes. [Interruption.]

Mr Speaker: Order. These are important matters affecting the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people in Wales and across the country. Let us have some respect for that fact without Ministers wittering away— Mr Evennett—in the background. Important matters are being discussed. Be quiet, sir!

Stephen Kinnock: The Secretary of State will know that retaining the order book and customer base is critical for the Welsh steel industry. I want a short answer to a short question. Will the Secretary of State confirm whether he has had conversations with customers such as Honda, Nissan and Jaguar Land Rover to secure the integrity of the customer base? Yes or no.

Alun Cairns: My father was a welder at the Port Talbot plant for more than 30 years before he was made redundant several years ago. I am from that community and understand how important the steelworks is to the income of the area. My family has been through the good times when records have been broken and the difficult times when my father, like many others, was made redundant. The Government regularly engage with many of the companies, both suppliers and customers, that work with Tata. We are determined to do everything to support them.

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