In Parliament today I warned ministers against neglecting the steel industry, and called on the UK Government to sign up to the UK Steel Charter.
The charter – which has been developed by UK Steel, the trade association representing steel manufacturers in Britain – encourages the industry and government bodies to target procurement policies towards the use of UK-produced steel. The Welsh Government, Scottish Government, Transport for Wales, Renewable UK, the National Association of Construction Frameworks and UK Onshore Oil and Gas have already confirmed they will sign the charter.
Speaking in questions to the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, I said: “The Government’s Industrial strategy has drawn criticism recently for neglecting steel. Will Ministers attend the launch of the UK Steel Charter on 20th May and sign up to the Charter on behalf of the department in order to maximise opportunities for UK steel in uncertain times?”
The Minister, Andrew Stephenson MP, responded by saying he was ‘looking forward’ to working with steel sector.
If adopted, the UK Steel Charter will provide clear benefits for the steel industry, the wider manufacturing sector and the UK economy as a whole. The Government have dragged their heels on steel for far too long, and the time for vague warm words from Ministers has passed. It’s time for this Government to commit to signing the Charter – as a number of national governments, businesses and organisations have already done – and give the industry the firm vote of confidence it needs.