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Steel Industry — [Mrs Madeleine Moon in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 11th May 2016.

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Photo of Tom Blenkinsop Tom Blenkinsop Labour, Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland 2:30 pm, 11th May 2016

I thank my hon. Friend for bringing up that issue, because skills retention is key. There are historical precedents that the Government could look to—not very old ones, but from the previous Labour Government in 2010—for how to use facilities and Government finance in order to retain skills. I will get on to that a little later.

What could have been for the Teesside Cast Products site in Redcar, the second most efficient plant in Europe, if it had been given time and the Government had committed to step in and co-invest, instead of the miserable inaction of a Government paralysed by dogma? It was saved once, but the lessons of how that was achieved were ignored.

Our British steel industry is a world beater. Investors desire to own it. International market conditions are changing right now. Indeed, indicators regarding strip in the UK are far more positive. As world demand increases and Chinese steel sites are closed due to international pressure, we are well placed to capitalise on that, but only if we now rally hard behind our British steel industry.