LETTER: British steel for rail project

Only weeks after the closure of the Redcar Steel Works, and the loss of thousands of jobs in the steel works at Port Talbot, Scunthorpe, Rotherham and Sheffield, the Chancellor George Osborne has specifically asked China to tender for the supply of steel for the forthcoming HS2 (High Speed Rail project). This project will need literally millions of tons of steel over a period of time, with a £multi-million (if not £multi-billion) value. Keeping the production of this steel in the UK would present a golden opportunity to revive our steel industry. The message Osborne has sent, by personally requesting China to tender, is that the process will NOT be on a ‘level playing field’ for all. We may not be able to match China’s steel prices, but keeping people in work and not having to pay benefits should help bridge that gap.

I have started a petition on the Government website which reads, ‘All steel used in the HS2 project should be made in UK steel plants. I need 100,000 signatures to force a debate in the House of Commons. I would like to think that this will help keep the steel production and as such the jobs, in the UK. Please visit https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions and then search on HS2. We really do need to highlight Osborne’s indifference to both UK industry and UK jobs – it really is scandalous!

Bob Lax

Rotherham, South Yorks

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