aldwarke steelworks_beMP John Healey has called for Government action after a new warning that a no-deal Brexit would put South Yorkshire steel jobs at risk immediately.
He said UK Steel, which represents the industry, was shocked to learn from civil servants that British exports would be subjected to a 25% tariff in a no deal situation, as the Government had got no agreement in place to protect British steel exports to Europe.
This means UK-made steel would be hit by the same high tariffs set to protect European countries from Chinese steel dumping.
Just over half of what is produced by South Yorkshire Specialty Steels is exported to the EU.
John was alerted to the threat after receiving an internal members briefing from UK Steel. Shortly afterwards, he spoke directly to the Business Secretary Greg Clark, who said he was unaware of the problem but would look into it.
John said: “The public rightly expected an orderly Brexit on 29 March, as the Government had told us for over two years. But they’ve failed to negotiate a decent Brexit deal, so we now face national humiliation and chaos.
“This internal briefing about what will happen at the end of next week (12 April) exposes the real world results of a crash-out Brexit.
“The impact would be immediate, with local jobs, wages and businesses at direct risk. I’ve spoken with the Business Secretary and told him to step in and fix this big threat to South Yorkshire steel.”
According to UK steel, producers exported 2.6 million tonnes of steel to the EU in 2018, worth an estimated £1.7 billion. A 25% tariff could cost upwards of £1.2 million a day – which neither UK steel producers nor their customers would be able to shoulder.