Labour Party Seeks Stronger Buy British Guarantees for Steel
According to local media reports UK Labour Party has called on the British government to put UK steelmakers and workers first with stronger buy British guarantees in the procurement process to ensure a preference for UK steel for major public infrastructure projects. Labour’s Shadow Minister for Business & Consumers Ms Lucy Powell while commenting on analysis of official figures by the opposition party, showing that 24p in every pound spent on steel for government works went abroad in 2018/19, accused ministers of failing to back UK steelmaking. Opposition party has highlighted that for the year 2018/19 UK steelmakers missed out on at least GBP 25 million worth of government funding for infrastructure projects with over 111,000 tonnes of steel imported for UK projects
She added “Ministers are failing to back UK steelmaking with weak procurement practices that undermine these efforts. The pandemic has shown that we need to rebuild the foundations of our economy, and ensure we have resilient supply chains that support jobs and capacity here. Labour is calling on ministers to put UK steelmakers and workers first, with stronger Buy British guarantees in procurement notices, to maximise the benefits of infrastructure spending across our country, safeguarding and creating jobs and supporting our recovery, whilst reducing carbon emissions.”
The procurement pipeline outlines that the government plans to use nearly five million tonnes of steel over the next ten years on projects including HS2, Hinkley Point C, upgrading and maintaining motorways and the expansion in offshore wind. Labour is calling for the government to introduce targets for the proportion of UK steel used in such major public works with a guarantee to state a preference for the use of UK-produced steel through the contracting process.