Received from: Community
Congress notes reports from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) highlighting that the lack of domestic access to steel production and the increasing reliance on foreign imports presents a risk to UK national and economic security; and poses a threat to our defence industry, being harder to produce weapons and equipment for our armed forces.
Congress recognises without government support to reverse the trend of decline; the UK would become the biggest economy worldwide to have no significant domestic steelmaking capacity. Government action which prevents further loss
of capacity, supporting modernisation and sustainability, would reduce risk to
Congress further recognises this support would benefit from being part of a transparent strategic framework that sets a clear and ambitious long-term direction for the sector as the foundation of crucial UK supply chains.
Congress calls on the TUC to:
i. Campaign for the government to recognise the vital national importance of retaining a strong and sustainable domestic steel industry, both for our
economic and national security, and the need to provide decisive support that will enable us to compete on a level playing field with our EU competitors.
ii. Lobby government to outline a strategic plan of support, addressing the most pressing challenges facing UK steel – including the transition toward sustainable steel, recognising the importance of keeping open all green steelmaking technology solutions, and fair energy pricing and protection from dirty steel imports – whilE also providing greater certainty on the industry’s future, improving market conditions for inward investment.
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“Campaign to change government procurement rules so every major British infrastructure project is legally committing to using domestic steel supplies, and ensure public procurement contracts are tied to jobs and wage guarantees. This would protect and create thousands of steelworker jobs while generating billions for the economy.”
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“Congress also notes that as an island nation, a lack of domestic steel would pose risks to the nation’s ability to build and repair naval and commercial ships in the UK and thus to maintain vital supply lines of food and essential goods in the event of geopolitical instability.”