According to Sir Keir Starmer, the Conservatives left the UK steel industry in a “cycle of crisis and bailout,” despite his vow that Labour would support the industry.
On Thursday, the Labour leader will travel to the British Steel facility in North Lincolnshire, where he is anticipated to pledge that a Labour administration will fund the steel industry as part of its larger environmental initiatives.
“Steel is integral to a modern economy, and my Labour government will back it, secure it, and grow it, creating high paying, productive jobs in communities all over the country, for generations,” Sir Keir said.
“Through our Green Prosperity Plan, we will invest alongside industry in technology and innovation, as well as increasing demand for UK steel from our plan to build turbines, railways, and carbon capture infrastructure.
“In the last 13 years the Tories’ complacency and inaction has led to a self-defeating cycle of crisis and bailout, failing workers, industry and the taxpayer.
“Securing investment in steel will create a virtuous circle of cheaper infrastructure, jobs, thriving industry, and economic growth. Labour will get on with it.”
Following years of worry about the future of the industry and the plight of hundreds of workers, Labour has now made the commitment.
Around 250 employees will be affected by the closing of British Steel’s Scunthorpe coke ovens, which will be closed as part of the company’s effort to address the world’s economic problems and create a greener future, according to a statement made in April.
The steel industry is one of the planned beneficiaries of financial support from a national wealth fund, which will promote corporate investment in cutting-edge technology like hydrogen and electric arc furnaces, according to Labour’s own proposals for the industry.
The party also thinks that its proposal for green energy made in Britain will increase UK steel’s long-term competitiveness and reduce costs.
According to Labour, plans to enhance offshore wind, solar, nuclear, and hydrogen energy production will result in a demand for millions of tonnes of UK steel.
When it comes to getting foreign investment to assist businesses and jobs in the UK, Sir Keir charged Rishi Sunak of taking a “passive bystander” attitude.
It happens as Mr. Sunak gets ready to meet Joe Biden on Thursday at the White House.
“The Prime Minister is impotently asking the President to open up to UK business, but those asks aren’t underpinned by any sense of a plan for UK industry,” the Labour leader said.
“The United States’ ground-breaking legislation has created more jobs in seven months than the UK has in seven years.
“The Conservative response is to criticise it from the side lines, then ask for a piece of the pie, woefully exposing their lack of plan.
“The UK is becoming a passive bystander in a global race for the jobs and industries of the future.
“Labour will pull all levers needed to drive forward jobs and growth in Britain.
“We’ll invest to rebuild Britain’s industrial strength.
“We’ll harness the ambition and hunger of British business, the skills and talents of our workers, and create tens of thousands of high skilled jobs, growing vibrant economies in all parts of the UK.”
A Government spokesperson said: “Steel plays a vital role in the UK economy, supporting local jobs and economic growth. We want to secure a decarbonised, sustainable and competitive future for the UK steel sector, and we are working closely with industry to achieve this.
“We have made an offer of support to British Steel, and continue to engage actively with the company to ensure any investment would be successful and make effective use of taxpayers’ money.”