T3. The European Union secured a comprehensive exemption from the section 232 steel tariffs way back on 30 October 2021. Here we are, almost three months later, and talks with the UK Government are only just starting. To ensure that the talks proceed smoothly and rapidly, we need to understand the cause of the delay. Does the Secretary of State agree that the probable cause is the Government’s shambolic handling of the Northern Ireland protocol? If she does not think that is the cause, perhaps she will enlighten the House about what she thinks the cause of the delay has been.
As I have outlined today, I am pleased that yesterday we were able to formally launch our negotiations with the US to find a solution to the section 232 tariffs, which have been unreasonably imposed on the UK for a number of years. The EU quantum of steel was of importance to the US, which wanted to start those negotiations because the impacts on both sides were great. We are very pleased that the UK is now able to progress on what will be a very important impact, and release some of the pressures on our excellent steel industry.