Today, the Times revealed a leaked list of priority industries for the government's Brexit negotiations. Steel was the lowest priority. That absolutely won't do, and makes a mockery of the recent answers Greg Clark and others have given me on how they are going to be supporting with the steel sector.
My response to the leak is below:
Gill Furniss, Shadow Minister for Steel, Postal Services and Consumer Protection, responding to news that the government has marked steel as low priority in its list of industries in the Brexit negotiations said:
“The government has a lot of questions to answer. While carmaking and aerospace among other industries have been marked as priorities for the Brexit negotiations, steel has been stuck at the bottom of the list.
“Greg Clark has said he recognises the UK steel sector to be a foundation industry that underpins our manufacturing. This leaked list shows that in fact, the steel sector is not a priority for this government.
“We have repeatedly asked for a sector deal for steel, and a proper place for the steel industry in the Government’s industrial strategy. All we’re getting in reply is hot air. The steel industry urgently needs proper protection from Chinese dumping, proper certainty over long-term R&D funding and strategic funding, and on what will replace EU funding post-2020.”