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Protecting Steel in the UK | Commons debates

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. He made a brilliant speech earlier and has been a great defender of his constituents. The lack of any plan from the Government over the last 14 years is at the heart of the problems we see today.

As the shadow Secretary of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Jonathan Reynolds), said in his opening speech, we also risk something much wider: that net zero becomes a zero-sum game for working people and we lose the public consent that we need for the transition. There is no getting away from the facts. The Government have pushed a plan that uses hundreds of millions of pounds to make thousands of people redundant. If Scunthorpe ends up going the same way—the hon. Member for Scunthorpe (Holly Mumby-Croft) made a powerful speech to the contrary—we will be unable to produce primary steel in the UK.

In the Port Talbot plan, the two blast furnaces will shut this year, with a cliff edge for jobs. For at least three years, steel will be completely imported from India and the Netherlands to feed Trostre and Llanwern in south Wales, but there is no guarantee that once the electric arc furnace is built, those jobs will stay. We know that there are huge questions about scrap steel and whether it will produce the steel we need. Many Members, including the Chair of the Business and Trade Committee, my right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Hodge Hill (Liam Byrne), asked questions to which the Government have so far provided no answers.