Steel Industry

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons on 11th January 2022.

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Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury

The steel industry plays a vital role in our economy. Through the Steel Council and regular engagements with steel industry, the Government are working with the sector to develop a plan to support its transition to a competitive, sustainable and low-carbon future.

Photo of Jessica Morden Jessica Morden Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Shadow Vice Chamberlain of HM Household (Whip), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

For UK steelmakers, paying 61% more than their German competitors for industrial energy is not only a barrier to investment but a direct barrier to decarbonisation, with the future of this foundation sector being fundamental to our net zero ambitions, so when will Ministers commit to providing Government support to bridge the electricity price gap?

Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury

As the hon. Lady will know, because we have talked about it in other debates, the Government continue to look at options on this. We have very regular engagement and interaction with the steel industry, including the Steel Council, and other meetings, including ones just in the last few days. It is important to note the extensive support and help that has been given to energy-intensive industries, including the steel sector, since 2013 and beyond.

Photo of Holly Mumby-Croft Holly Mumby-Croft Conservative, Scunthorpe

I thank my hon. Friend for work that he has done for steel. He will know that the Prime Minister himself has stood in this Chamber and spoken about the unfair historical energy costs that steel industries have faced in this country. What conversations need to take place between BEIS, the Treasury and No. 10 to bring forward a solution so that my world-class steelmakers can get on a fair footing?

Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury

My hon. Friend is an absolute champion for her constituents in Scunthorpe and for the continuing success of the steel industry in that area. We continue to work very closely with our colleagues across Government to determine how we can provide support and look at options around the temporary issues that have been caused in the past year or so and then the longer-term issues. I would be happy to talk to her further.