Javid In Harbour Talbot To Face Steelworkers

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 4:49 PM

The visit comes as a Sky Data poll suggests two-thirds of people would be in favour of nationalising the industry to rescue jobs.

Javid In Harbour Talbot To Face Steelworkers

Business Secretary Sajid Javid is in Harbour Talbot to meet workers - as a Sky Data poll suggests two-thirds of people back nationalising the UK's steel industry.

Mister Javid'south visit comes amid intense criticism of the Government'south response to a decision by Indian conglomerate Tata Steel to sell its UK assets, putting as many as 40.000 British jobs at risk.

Ministers have been accused of prioritising trade links with China over support for the steel industry - amid claims the UK has blocked European Union moves to impose tougher tariffs on cheap imported Chinese steel.

A Sky Data poll carried out today suggests sixty-six percent of people would support nationalisation - a measure David Cameron has said is "not the right answer" - with thirty-four% against.

Former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg claimed Chancellor George Osborne had "keep his special relationship with China over the UK'south best interests".

Meanwhile Axel Eggert, head of the European Steel Association, which represents every steelmaker on the continent, said Britain was the "ringleader" of a grouping of countries blocking attempts to prevent Chinese steel dumping.

Speaking in Manchester, Mister Osborne said the Government was "leading the way in convening meetings of ministers to deal with the steel situation" and working "to create sure there are tariffs on unfairly cheap steel". 

He said "everything that's practicable and possible" was being done to assistance steelworkers and their families in the UK.

In Bristol, Labour boss Jeremy Corbyn said: "The idea that you could regulation everything off the table suddenly and then start rushing circular looking for a buyer... they knew this crisis was coming and they didn't even send a minister to Mumbai to attempt and deal with Tata.

"So they've got to obtain back on track very quickly, otherwise we're going to lose the industry."

The Government faced further embarrassment as reports emerged that Tata Steel is in talks over the possible purchase of parts or all of German heavy industry giant ThyssenKrup'south European steel operations.

after it emerged he took his daughter on an official visit to Australia - which he was forced to slice short - while the crisis was playing out in Mumbai.

He tweeted that he'd had "productive" meetings at Harbour Talbot with Welsh economy minister Edwina Hart, Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns and local MPs Stephen Kinnock and Christina Rees.  

He's expected to promise a cross-Whitehall response to the crisis, working with Treasury minister Lord O'Neill, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Letwin and Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns to discover a buyer for Tata Steel's assets.

But trade union Community said steelworkers will be "shocked" at the length of time it's taken the Government to reply to Tata Steel's decision.

A spokesman for the union said: "Steelworkers across the country will be shocked that it's taken this long for the Government to finally wake up to the crisis facing our steel industry.

"Community, the steelworkers' union, has always been keen to work constructively with government, but Sajid Javid cannot simply come at Harbour Talbot and read out his list of 'achievements' - this week'south news is proof that Government action thus distant has been woefully inadequate.

"The Government should commit to safeguarding the skills and assets of Britain’s steel industry. The UK simply cannot afford to lose our steelmaking capacity."

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