The Government publish their future pipeline for steel requirements, together with information on compliance, with steel procurement guidelines. These measures enable UK steel manufacturers to plan better and bid for Government contracts.
Last month, UK Steel criticised the opaque procurement processes involved in the defence sector. I know the Government will agree that UK steel is vital to our national interests. Will Ministers therefore set clear and transparent objectives regarding UK steel in defence projects and commit to engaging with the industry early, meaningfully and often in the procurement process?
I am sorry to hear that. We are very keen to engage fully with the steel industry; it is important that we do so. We need transparency, and that is absolutely a goal, as is reinforced by the Cabinet Office guidelines. Looking at the macro picture, however, I am sure that the hon. Lady would agree that the plans we put in place for the biggest single boost to defence expenditure in 30 years, with the commitments to Type 26, Type 31 and the fleet solid support programme, all suggest that there are going to be good opportunities for steel manufacturers in the future.