Monday 15th April 2024

(1 month ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Woodley Portrait Lord Woodley (Lab)
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My Lords, my union, Unite, last week voted to strike over Tata’s disastrous plan. The plan is an appalling act of industrial vandalism as far as we are concerned, with the loss of thousands of jobs devastating the local community and the local economy. As the Minister knows, Tata has other options, especially as Unite has secured a commitment from the Labour Party to invest £3 billion—not half a billion pounds—in UK steel. Will the Minister therefore urgently rethink the Government’s strategy and insist that Tata keeps at least one blast furnace going until the end of its life as a condition of investing any public money in this operation?

Lord Johnson of Lainston Portrait Lord Johnson of Lainston (Con)
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I must respectfully disagree. This is a very sound plan to ensure that we have a future of steel-making not just in this country but in Wales. This plan will save 5,000 jobs. It will make the steel industry profitable and result in a crucial circular economy where we take our scrap metal and turn it into real steel rather than importing steel or ore from abroad. The Opposition are keen to copy the Conservative Party in so many of our policies, so I am surprised that in this instance they refuse to do so.