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Volume 888: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement concerning the right of establishment of steel mini-mills in the United Kingdom together with the respective powers of Her Majesty's Government, the British Steel Corporation, and the European Coal and Steel Community or the EEC Commission.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 17th March 1975; Vol. 888, Col. 287], gave the following information:Section 15 of the Iron and Steel Act 1967, by which the consent of the Secretary of State for Industry was required for the establishment of certain production facilities for iron and steel, was repealed by the European Communities Act 1972 as a consequence of the United Kingdom joining the ECSC. We have put the Community on notice that we intend to pursue the problem of the powers available to Her Majesty's Government for effective control over the steel industry, as a separate issue from renegotiation.The European Commission, under Article 54 of the European Coal and Steel Community Treaty, requires steel undertakings to notify it in advance of proposed investments. The Commission may then deliver a reasoned opinion on the proposal, which is not, in general, mandatory.

The British Steel Corporation has no powers regarding privately-owned steelworks.