LLANELLI’S MP has met with the new Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart MP, to demand better support for the UK steel industry from the Conservative Government.
Nia Griffith, who was re-elected as Vice Chair of the Steel group in Parliament last week, has been urging the government to invest in steel and maximise the use of UK steel in infrastructure projects. She is a long standing and active member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Steel, which is pushing the UK Government to put right the business environment for steel producers in the UK by taking action on energy prices, business rates and decarbonisation policy.
Ms Griffith said, “As Welsh steel MPs, we recently had a meeting with the new Secretary of State for Wales to impress upon him the need for support for our steel industry and good trade deals, as well as a commitment to use UK steel in government infrastructure projects. We are also pressing the UK Government to commit to replacing the money we will lose from Europe pound for pound.
“We have fantastic steel plants in the UK, but the industry is going through a difficult period with pressures from abroad and high energy costs. It is therefore vital that the UK Government does everything it can to support the industry. That means proper investment in the industry to ensure it remains competitive with foreign producers.
“It also means using UK steel in large public infrastructure projects like HS2. It is estimated that this project alone will use two million tonnes of steel over the next ten years, so it vital that this is sourced in the UK wherever possible. A simple step like this would add billions to the UK economy and support thousands of jobs in the steel industry, including here in South Wales.
“Now, more than ever, we need genuine commitment from Government to our steel industry. I and my fellow steel MPs will continue to push for real investment in steel and a joined up industrial strategy from the UK Government to support this key industry.”