Hartlepool MP calls for British Steel to be renationalised after firm goes into liquidation

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill is calling for the Government to step in and renationalise British Steel after it went into liquidation.

By Peter Tennick
Monday, 27 May, 2019, 11:30
Hartlepool MP Mike Hill is calling for British Steel to be renationalised.

Mike Hill MP attended a meeting of MPs and council leaders last Friday to discuss the future of British Steel in light of the company going into liquidation.

The summit was organised by Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen and resulted in cross party agreement to push for immediate renationalisation in order to rescue the business and safeguard thousands of jobs on Teesside and in Wales.

The firm employs around 700 people at Lackenby and Skinningrove, as well as thousands of jobs in the supply chain.

Mr Hill said: "My priority as Hartlepool MP has to first and foremost make sure that our steel industry in Hartlepool is protected from this national crisis.

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"We have a magnificent steel manufacturing base here and are a global base for specialist products. As such I have been in direct touch with Liberty Steel and Tata Steel, both of whom have reassured me that they are resilient to the current British Steel crisis, but that it’s future and the threat of high tariffs in a no-deal Brexit scenario are significant issues of national importance.

"In my opinion it is critical that we keep British Steel alive and re-nationalise it. That is not just my opinion, but it is also that of the Tees Valley Mayor, and every Teesside MP and council leader. Our steel is the safest and strongest and has been used all over the world in structures like the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

"The loss of our ability to produce our own steel will leave us wide open to market exploitation and an unhealthy reliance on importing the very product our railways and construction industries rely on. Ironic, given we are leaving the EU and their steel tariff protections and the uncertainty of WTO provisions in light of USA/China tariff wars.

"If British Steel isn’t rescued by a Government hiding behind EU competition rules, despite Italy saving its own industry and challenging those rules, then we are in real trouble. If the Tories cave in to the voices of Greybull and the private profiteers and don’t renationalise British Steel, then they will have presided over the death of a vital industry and weakened our role in the world as a nation."