Labour MEPs: Tories are all talk when it comes to steel, it’s time they actually took action to save jobs

Labour MEPs have reiterated their call for the government to urgently step in and take action to save the steel sector, following the news that more than a thousand jobs at Tata plants in Wales are under threat.

Theresa Griffin MEP, Labour’s European Parliament spokesperson on energy, said:

“Whether in Westminster or Brussels, the Tories talk, say they are ‘deeply disappointed’ with job losses here or plant closures there, but they don’t actually do anything.

“Recently, Tory MEPs voted against a report that recommends a level playing field for the steel industry throughout Europe and proposes limiting the dumping of cheap Chinese steel – an issue David Cameron has failed to confront Xi Jianping on. It is Labour MEPs who been pressing the European Commission and ministers to act.

“And tomorrow, MEPs will vote tomorrow on a Labour amendment calling on the Commission to review EU State Aid rules for the steel industry. If the rules are relaxed further, the government will be even more culpable if it fails to act.”

Derek Vaughan MEP, Labour MEP for Wales, added:

“This is a desperate blow to the Welsh steel industry which has been under pressure for some time and I have great sympathy for those families and local communities that will be affected by the news.

“Today is by no means the end of steelmaking in Wales but unless the government takes a more proactive role then the problems will continue.

“They can provide emergency financial assistance, investment in research and development projects as well as training and environmental efficiency schemes in a similar manner to that which other European governments are already doing without going anywhere near contravening existing State Aid rules.”