Stephen Kinnock 


As my hon. Friend the Member for Newport East (Jessica Morden) rightly pointed out, there is a family of steelmaking plants in Wales, Port Talbot obviously being the hub, and we send birthday greetings to Shotton. The integrated nature of the steelmaking process means that the energy costs for Port Talbot, which are the highest in Wales, are crucial for the entire steelmaking process in Wales. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Alyn and Deeside (Mark Tami) has rightly pointed out, we are trying to compete with one hand tied behind our back, because the Government’s inaction is leaving us with massively higher energy costs than our European partners and neighbours.

I hope the Minister does not say, “Well, we pay the energy intensive industries compensation fund,” because these energy price disparities exist after that fund has been provided. Let us please not hear that line again from the Government. Does my right hon. Friend agree that this is the No. 1 priority? We are just asking for a level playing field. We have talked about the past, but the present and the future are so much more important. Unless we get this sorted, we are going to be uncompetitive for another year, two years or even 125 years.

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