Whitsun Adjournment

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:50 pm on 23rd May 2019.

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Photo of Nicholas Dakin Nicholas Dakin Opposition Whip (Commons) 2:50 pm, 23rd May 2019

My hon. Friend makes a good point about the need to act and the cost of not acting.

We had the steel crisis in 2015-16, when we lost the SSI site in Redcar. My hon. Friend Anna Turley talked yesterday about the strategic assets that have been lost. The blast furnace at Redcar, which was probably the best in the country, is now of no value to the country. The blast furnaces in Scunthorpe are not only necessary for us to deliver our steelmaking capacity and contribution to the economy; they are national assets, and it would cost a huge amount to bring them back on stream. I welcome the Secretary of State’s strong comments at the Dispatch Box yesterday, when he made it clear that these national assets need to be secured for the future.

We do not want another Ravenscraig or another Redcar, because the costs are too great. My hon. Friend Mr Sweeney reminds us that Ravenscraig is still costing the nation money, and it is the same with Redcar. The clean-up costs of these great industries are uncountable. The costs of keeping them going, keeping people economically viable and keeping our country proud and independent in what it can do are chicken feed compared with the costs of not doing so. He makes that point extremely well.