Ravenscraig Steel Works, Motherwell, closed in 1992
OK, it was never going to be easy to save Britain's remaining steel industry. But the government have questions to answer. The Guardian reports:
Government sources stressed Javid’s visit on Friday is his second to the area, and that he recently chaired a steel summit in Whitehall. But critics say the government has failed to support the industry. Labour pointed out that Tory MEPs voted against EU proposals to take tougher action on Chinese dumping.
In a scathing attack the head of the European Steel Association, Axel Eggert, accused Britain of being a “ringleader” in attempts to block stronger defences for EU countries against cheap Chinese imports.
Britain blocked attempts to strengthen EU trade defences against imports of cheap Chinese steel that have devastated Tata’s operations in the UK, according to senior European officials. The Financial Times reported that French and Italian officials also said Britain had led the opposition to an overhaul of anti-dumping rules.
Ministers stand accused of having “rolled the red carpet out” to China – with Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, who represents the constituency containing Port Talbot, arguing that Britain’s industrial strategy was being drawn up in Beijing. He told the Guardian that Osborne had pushed for China to be granted market economy status – a move that Tata executive Tim Morris recently told MPs was like “sleepwalking” into an even deeper crisis.