Scunthorpe MP will not support British Steel’s £1.25b green move over sovereignty fears for manufacturing

Scunthorpe MP Holly Mumby-Croft has told how she does not support British Steel’s move to embrace electric arc furnace production at greater pace.

The Conservative, with deep family roots in the works, has instead urged government to use funds to secure jobs and sovereign capability, making her feelings known at the highest level in Westminster. Union leaders have also warned of the vulnerable state it could leave the UK in.

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In an impassioned plea following the announcement, she said: “I am the granddaughter of a steelworker, the steelworks is at the heart of our community and employs almost 3,500 people. This announcement is causing a lot of anxiety across the entire community – not just among those directly employed who are now concerned about their jobs but also throughout the supply chain and local economy.

“Not only are these the people that I represent in Parliament but they’re the people I went to school with, my neighbours, my family’s friends – this is personal to me and I know this is felt across Scunthorpe too. I stand absolutely with steelworkers and our community and will continue to challenge the government on what I believe is right, not just for our area but for the UK’s ability to make its own steel.

“I do not support this move. British Steel is privately-owned and free to make business decisions but if they want hundreds of millions of pounds of government support then the government should use that investment to secure steel jobs and our sovereign capability to produce steel using blast furnaces. I have made this clear to ministers and to the PM.

“With reports that Tata Steel may be decommissioning their blast furnaces in Port Talbot, the UK now stands on the extreme verge of not being able to produce virgin steel for the first time in living memory. Many countries are exploring how to decarbonise their steel sectors without shutting down their blast furnaces, recognising that producing virgin steel is a vital strategic capability. The UK should do the same.

“Any support that the government decides to provide to British Steel must come with conditions. There must be reassurances on jobs, and a pledge to retain virgin steelmaking capabilities while we explore ways to run blast furnaces in a greener way.”

Scunthorpe MP Holly Mumby-Croft visits the British Steel site in her first few weeks as the town's representative.
Scunthorpe MP Holly Mumby-Croft visiting the British Steel site in her first few weeks as the town’s representative.

Ms Mumby-Croft, elected in 2019, played a key role in securing steel safeguards as Brexit undid previous regulations in place to protect Europe from floods of cheap imports. However, her patience with the giant within her constituency was tested when redundancies were proposed during ongoing talks to secure a support package back in February. She described the move as ‘indefensible’ during a debate in the House of Commons.

She has, however, welcomed steps British Steel and the local authority to develop new economic opportunities on the sprawling site, highlighted in the announcement. She said: “I welcome work on a masterplan between British Steel and North Lincolnshire Council to utilise unused parts of the British Steel site to attract green jobs. It does have the potential to provide new jobs in our area and is an example of a good, proactive council looking-out for our local community.

“Not one of us can go a single day without needing steel. It underpins every aspect of modern life, and it’s only going to get more important this century. For the sake of the UK as well as Scunthorpe, we need to have a strong steel industry.”

As reported, a Government spokesperson said: “Our commitment to the UK steel sector is clear, and we continue to work closely with industry, including British Steel, to secure a sustainable and competitive future for the sector and its workers.

“We have offered a generous support package including more than £300 million of investment for British Steel to cut emissions, help safeguard jobs and unlock over £1 billion in stakeholder investment. Ultimately, it is for British Steel to manage commercial decisions for the future of the company, and we cannot comment on ongoing commercial negotiations beyond that.”

Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber

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