This has been a powerful debate, reflecting the huge strength of feeling in this place, but also the huge knowledge and ambition for our steel industry. I was disappointed that the Minister came to this place and said that this debate was performative, less than a week after Tata Steel announced nearly 3,000 job losses. I think we all would have expected better from her.
Like many others, this afternoon I met steelworkers and union officials not only from Port Talbot, but from all the other steel sectors and steel sites across the country. They have come because they know what this announcement means for them and their future. These actions will have consequences beyond last week’s announcement. The steelworkers here today, like many of us, are baffled by the Government’s approach. They know that steel is a foundation industry. They know how crucial it is to our economy. They know that the world is uncertain—for goodness’ sake, the Prime Minister was here only this afternoon talking about strikes on Houthis in Yemen—and that having our own supply of primary steel is crucial to our security. Our genuine question is: why are the Government so content to be spending half a billion pounds on a scheme that leads to thousands of job losses?