Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, has today (5th October 2016) called the decision to build the new fleet of nuclear submarines with French steel a ‘kick in teeth for British steel workers fighting to keep the industry alive’.
Construction of the £41billion Successor submarines is due to start at the BAE Systems’ plant at Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria this week with the first steel plate cut today by the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon.
However, the Daily Mirror reported yesterday that a French firm has won the contract to supply steel for the pressure hulls - a contract which they report could have protected at least 1000 jobs in the UK steel industry.
Responding to the news, Anna said:
“For the past 18 months our steel industry has been battling for its survival, under the pressure of cheap Chinese imports.
“After the Government failed to step in to save Redcar’s steelworks last year, this major infrastructure project is an opportunity to prove they truly understand the strategic importance of the British steel industry by backing our remaining steelworks.
“The decision to hand this contract to a French firm instead is a kick in the teeth for our steelworkers who have spent the last year fighting to keep their jobs and their industry alive.
“If they were really serious about creating an industrial strategy then this was a prime opportunity to show it. They must do more to ensure infrastructure projects benefit our vital industries.”