October 26: Wrong to blame EU renewables policy for the steel crisis

Have your say

From: Linda McAvan, Labour MEP Yorkshire and Humber, High Street, Wath-upon-Dearne.

JANE Collins from Ukip (The Yorkshire Post, October 22) should listen to those who know the UK steel industry before blaming the EU renewables policy for the steel crisis. UK Steel’s analysis says UK energy costs for large consumers like the steel industry were 82 per cent higher than the EU average.

Yet all EU countries are covered by the EU renewables directive – so price differences are clearly down to UK energy policy. They also point out UK business rates are 10 times the French and German levels, again a UK government policy.

But the biggest factor affecting steel now is unfair competition from subsidised Chinese steel dumped on EU markets at below market price. That is why the EU has imposed anti-dumping duties on Chinese steel. And what UK Steel and the head of Sheffield Forgemasters are asking is for more action at EU level not less, as your Editorial points out. 

Only by working with other steel producing countries like Germany, France and Italy will we have the clout to put pressure on the Chinese. That is where our focus should be now.

From: Dave Long, Leeds.

I WAS sickened by the front page picture (The Yorkshire Post, October 21) of Xi Jinping touching glasses with Her Majesty. This tyrant and his Communist regime have one of the worst human rights records in the world.

The British steel industry is also in meltdown, the market is being flooded with cheap Chinese steel. This degrading obsequiousness of this Tory Government in order to get Chinese investment in the British nuclear power industry is not only nauseating but very frightening. Our steel industry is being destroyed. Thousands of jobs are going. Congratulations to the Prince of Wales for having the guts to stay away.

From: Arthur Quarmby, Underhill, Holme, Huddersfield.

THE British steel industry is being decimated by competition from China. Our government is powerless to help in any way on account of EU rules, we are told. So how are our European colleagues doing? How are the steel industries in Germany and France coping? If not, why not? Of course Chinese competition may only be a part of the problem. British steel companies are saddled with huge extra costs for their energy, based on green fantasies.

This is a self-inflicted penalty from which our competitors do not suffer.