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Welsh Labour MP warns UK Gov not to sell out steelworkers in trade row

21 Jun 2021 3 minute read
Blast Furnace located at the Port Talbot steelworks

A Welsh Labour MP has warned the UK Government not to sell out steelworkers in a row about trade.

Stephen Kinnock who represents Aberavon, a constituency which includes Port Talbot steelworks, spoke out after a government body has officially recommended that protections inherited from the EU to safeguard UK producers be scrapped.

It is feared that they will be dropped in order to sign post-Brexit trade deals, and that this would allow a glut of cheap imports and would deal a hammer blow to the UK steel industry.

According to Kinnock, the UK Government has already “sold out” farmers after it agreed a trade deal with Australia that could lead to cheap lamb and beef undercutting local producers.

The recommendation was made by the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA), an arm’s-length body that operates within the UK Government’s Department for International Trade.

The EU introduced the limits in 2019 after Donald Trump imposed tariffs on cheap imports of steel from China and elsewhere into the US.

They were to protect Europe’s steel industry from a glut of steel it feared would be diverted from the US because of the move

When the UK left the EU, the limits were written into UK law. However, their application will lapse at the end of this month.

Last week, the EU announced that it would extend the limits for a further three years.


Kinnock told The Guardian: “Monday’s vote will reveal whether outsourcing the decision to remove nine critical steel safeguards is a Conservative cock-up, or a Conservative conspiracy.

“Either the government votes with Labour to bring forward the emergency legislation that can amend mistakes in the Trade Bill, or it votes against and in so doing exposes the true intention of its post-Brexit trade policy: to sacrifice British jobs and manufacturing on the altar of its desperation to do trade deals.

“Last week they sold out our farmers. Will our steelworkers be next?”

The UK Government said: “All interested parties, including importers, domestic producers and overseas exporters, have been able to participate in the review to provide evidence to factor into the TRA’s assessment.

“The TRA is a non-departmental public body, and all its decisions are based on a thorough analysis of the evidence.

“The trade secretary’s decision will be published before the measure is due to expire on 30 June.”

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2 years ago

Sound bite Kinnock strikes again.

2 years ago
Reply to  Quornby

So he speaks out on behalf of his constituents, isn’t that what MPs are supposed to do? Or would prefer him to support the Conservative government in selling out the steelworkers just as they sold out the farmers for nothing more than a sordid little trade deal.

Gill Jones
Gill Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Bruce

This is Stephen Kinnock of the ‘gravy-train Kinnock family’ – yes, soundbite master!

2 years ago
Reply to  Gill Jones

Neath Port Talbot voted to leave the EU, with all the support that the EU was giving the steel industry. The voters will get what they voted for, to leave the protection of the EU and put all hope in the UK Tory Gov, and the new trade deals. The people of NPT should be happy.

Josh Foster
Josh Foster
2 years ago

Jeeeeeesus. The problem for Port Talbot steelworks is the monumental cost of energy. Labour refuses to allow the extraction of billions worth of gas right next to them in Margam, and elsewhere. This plentiful supply of cheap energy would secure the future of Port Talbot steelworkers.

Insufferable hypocrites.

When the energy crisis hits, I expect to see environmentalists being lynched in the streets.

Josh Foster
Josh Foster
2 years ago
Reply to  Josh Foster

I can’t wait for the energy crisis. Wales will suffer horribly, and I’ll be bathing in Schadenfreude. Stupid little country.

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