Government not alert to UK steel industry crisis warnings

Sustainable Development Group
23 Dec 2015

A recent Commons Select Committe Report on the Government response to the current crisis in the UK Steel Industry has been posted on the Parliament website.

The BIS Committee found that while the Government identified the steel industry as of vital importance, Whitehall did not have effective warning systems in place to detect and address mounting problems in the industry. The Committee also found that a lack of action at EU level, and a failure by UK Governments to push for EU action, helped leave the UK heavily exposed to Chinese dumping, a global oversupply of steel, and a ‘perfect storm’ of difficulties for the industry.

The report calls on the Government to act quickly on the steel industry’s ‘five asks’ issues but is clear that the issue of Chinese dumping will need to be resolved to allow the UK steel industry to have a viable, sustainable future. The BIS Committee calls on the Government to now work with industry to consider the extent to which the success of other core sectors is threatened as a result of domestic policy decisions as opposed to global market pressures. The Committee also urges the Government to set out what mechanisms it will put in place to maintain close links with key sectors and how it will ensure it can act at an early stage to avoid the damage suffered by the UK steel industry being experienced by other key sectors.