It was great to visit the steelworks in Port Talbot and wonderful to see the timeline of the history of the site dating back to 13th century, followed by visit to Concast & the BOS plant. There is a long tradition of steel making in Port Talbot and the timeline shows the centuries of development of the steel making industry and how integral it is to the town. It was a real privilege to see the highly skilled workforce delivering an outstanding product for British industry.Read more
The British steel industry is hobbled by punitive energy costs (far higher than in Germany, France & Netherlands). In January 2017 the all party group on Steel produced 'Steel 2020', with recommendations on how to reduce costs. Claire Perry promised she'll read it. Looking forward to her feedback!Read more
During a Westminster Hall debate, secured by my colleague Anna Turley, I called the closure of the blast and coke ovens in Redcar an action of industrial vandalism which led to the loss of a strategic asset for our country.Read more
South-west Wales MPs, AMs and Council leaders condemn UK Government for 'betraying the people of Wales' by failing to back the tidal lagoon.
A powerful grouping of politicians from across the South-West Wales area has today expressed its deep disappointment at the announcement that the UK government will not back the lagoon.
In a joint statement, the representatives said:
“This news is devastating for the Swansea Bay Region.
“After months of the UK Government prevaricating on this decision, and more than a year after the Hendry Review backed the project, once again the UK Government has failed on its duty to support the communities of South-West Wales, and has yet again betrayed the people of Wales.
“The lagoon required the Government to be bold and back a pathfinder project that would promote energy self-sufficiency, re-balance the economy, and create jobs across the UK, addressing disparities in national productivity.
“Giving the lagoon the green light would have been a massive boost to the economy of the area, especially at a time when the region is reeling from job losses at Virgin Media and dark clouds are gathering over steel jobs thanks to President Trump and his tariffs.
“We are all too familiar with this story from a Tory Government who have failed to stand up for steel and failed to deliver on rail electrification west of Cardiff.
"The Conservative Secretary of State for Wales has presided over the removal of electrification money of £400m-£700m - depending on whose figure you use - and has now failed to support £1.3bn for the tidal lagoon. That’s £2bn he has ripped away from the South Wales economy, killing jobs, and denying opportunities to families and communities in South Wales.
“Yet again it was left to the Welsh Labour Government to attempt to pick up the pieces, just as they did with the steel crisis, and to make an offer of support which has fallen on deaf ears.
“This is a project that would have played directly into the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, which makes the decision to reject it all the more short-sighted and irrational.
"The UK Government needs to rethink this decision and back the lagoon, because in doing so they would be investing in the local area, delivering jobs, clean energy and real opportunity to the Swansea Bay Region.”
“This whole sorry tale does also raise serious questions about whether Alun Cairns should continue as Secretary of State for Wales. Mr Cairns is supposed to be the voice of Wales in the cabinet, standing up for our interests and fighting our corner. But this announcement on the lagoon today confirms that absolutely nobody is listening to him, and he should therefore consider his position.”
The first of its kind in the world, the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon would produce enough energy to power 150,000 Welsh homes for 120 years, sustain over 2,000 construction and manufacturing jobs in Wales, and support as many as 311 industrial and manufacturing businesses along the supply chain. It would deliver £8 million in tourism revenue, and the project would require more than 100,000 tonnes of steel, much of which would come from the Port Talbot steel works, with further jobs downstream making the component parts.
Issued jointly by:
Tonia Antoniazzi MP for Gower
Geraint Davies MP for Swansea West
Nia Griffith MP for Llanelli
Carolyn Harris MP for Swansea East
Stephen Kinnock MP for Aberavon
Christina Rees MP for Neath
Jeremy Miles AM for Neath
Rebecca Evans AM for Gower
Mike Hedges AM for Swansea East
Julie James AM for Swansea West
David Rees AM for Aberavon
Lee Waters AM for Llanelli
Cllr Rob James Leader of Carmarthenshire Labour Group
Cllr Rob Jones Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council
Cllr Rob Stewart Leader of Swansea Council
For further comment from any of the above please contact the office of that individual.
I asked the Trade Secretary what steps he is taking to appeal to the US Congress members whose states will be most affected by the inevitable job losses that Trump's tariffs will cause, & whether he will address the APPG on steel on the wider actions he is takingRead more
Commenting on confirmation from Donald Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that 25% tariffs are to be placed on British steel imports to the USA - commencing 1st June 2018 - Stephen Kinnock, MP for Aberavon, home of the Port Talbot steelworks, said:Read more
Responding to today’s announcement that President Trump has decided to postpone a decision on the steel tariffs until 1 June, Stephen Kinnock, MP for Aberavon which is home to the Port Talbot steel works, the largest steel works in the UK, said:
‘The only thing that President Trump has achieved through this delay is to cause further uncertainty and confusion. Whilst he plays this ludicrous game of cat and mouse, thousands of steelworkers and their families in my constituency are left in a state of limbo, with the possibility of these deeply damaging tariffs still hanging over them.Read more
During a debate on industrial strategy, I called on the Government to start delivering a sector deal for the steel industry. It would be a massive boost for the steel works in my Aberavon constituency and for the wider steel making industry, turning it from surviving to thriving. The Government needs to come clean and let us know whether they are giving up on the steel industry or when they will approve the sector deal for steel.Read more
Temporary Exemption From Trump Steel Tariffs Is Step In Right Direction, But We Are Not Out Of The Woods Yet
Commenting on reports that the EU is set to secure a temporary exemption from the Trump steel tariffs, Member of Parliament for Aberavon, home of the Port Talbot steelworks, Stephen Kinnock, said:
“Steelworkers across the UK and Europe will sigh with relief if it is confirmed that the EU have secured a temporary exemption from the Trump tariffs, but we are by no means out of the woods yet.Read more
During questions to the Secretary of State for Wales, I explained the cost of steel tariffs for the Welsh steel industry and also to America itself, and asked him what the government has done to stop the Trump steel tariffs hurting the British steel industry.Read more