John Healey has backed British steel to provide the hardware needed for the country’s national security and strategic infrastructure.
HMRC recently withdrew its winding up petition against the specialty steels division of Liberty Steel and John is now calling on the Government to do more and show its support for local steelmakers by buying British steel.
John said: “Over the past two years the pandemic demonstrated the fragility of international trading arrangements, and now Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine brings new uncertainties to the world. This only reinforces the need for a strong British steel industry with British supply chains to boost national industrial resilience.
“Our steel industry is fundamental to Britain’s economic independence and our national security, we must never take it for granted. But today the British steel industry stands at a crossroads, following decades of unsupportive government policy and steel dumping from countries that don’t play by the rules. Britain needs its steel industry and its high time ministers backed British jobs and essential industries now.
“To start, the government must ensure that Britain’s steel is deployed in public defence contracts, and in doing so strengthen our defence businesses for the future. It should be a no-brainer that defence procurement, like for the MoD’s Fleet Solid Support Ships programme, should be awarded to British firms using British materials, but currently this is far from a given.
“Our local Rotherham steelworkers are the best in the world, highly skilled and passionate about their industry, battle-hardened after years of facing adversity, and ready to continue delivering for their industry and our country.
“They’ve had plenty of warm words from this government, but now they need to see those translate into action. British steel is needed for our national security, for a strong and green economy, and for tens of thousands of jobs across the country.
“As we respond to new threats and Russian aggression, British steel will have an enhanced role in our homeland defences for the years ahead. The government should act now to recognise that.”