British Steel’s future simply must be secured - The Yorkshire Post says

The steel industry may not be the behemoth it once was in the 1970s when it employed hundreds of thousands of people but this region still plays a key role in what remains, with one in three aeroplanes in the world containing steel made in Stocksbridge and Sheffield Forgemasters supplying our military.
British Steel's Scunthorpe plant. Picture: PABritish Steel's Scunthorpe plant. Picture: PA
British Steel's Scunthorpe plant. Picture: PA

There will be many watching the uncertainty about Scunthorpe-based British Steel anxiously, not least the near 5,000-workers the company employs and the 20,000 staff involved in its supply chain. But there are greater long-term implications which make it a necessity to solve the financial problems that have pushed British Steel to the brink of administration and left owners Greybull seeking Government assistance.

Uncertainty over Brexit is hitting an industry which exports three times as much steel to the EU27 as all of its other markets combined, while there are continued challenges from illegal Chinese steel dumping.

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Unions have warned that if the firm cannot be saved, taxpayers may end up footing the bill for hundreds of millions of pounds in clean-up costs, and a new contract to supply thousands of miles of railway could not be delivered.

There have been some calls to nationalise British Steel if an acceptable arrangement cannot be struck, but the most clear-sighted contribution has come from Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin. He said despite its significant challenges, British Steel is a sound business with a highly-skilled workforce – adding that the UK cannot hope to be a modern, independent country without our own steelmaking capacity. Securing British Steel’s future simply must happen.