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Steel Industry

Volume 684: debated on Wednesday 18 November 2020

What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the long-term future of the steel industry in Wales. (908739)

I know how committed the hon. Gentleman is to steelmaking from our time on the Welsh Affairs Committee. I reassure him that the UK Government are similarly committed to a long-term sustainable future for steelmaking in Wales. We have already met Tata and the Welsh Government, and BEIS will continue to work with the company as it shapes its business strategy in the future.

The Minister will be concerned by the recent news that Tata Steel is selling its Dutch operations to a Swedish company. The steel industry is helping so much in the current crisis, and it is the basis of our entire manufacturing sector, so can the Minister please give us a bit more detail about what discussions are taking place with the Government and with Tata Steel, and when we can hear some positive good news, because we need our steel industry?

I agree with the basis of the hon. Gentleman’s question. I cannot go into great detail about what discussions are taking place, but I can reassure him that discussions have taken place with Tata and with BEIS, and the UK Government stand ready to work with all to ensure that we have that steelmaking future in Wales. If the hon. Gentleman has any doubt at all, he only needs to look at the work that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State did to ensure that Celsa received a £30 million loan—a loan that has saved 800 jobs in Wales and demonstrates firmly our commitment to the Welsh steelmaking industry.