As many as 15,000 jobs are in jeopardy after Tata Steel’s decision to exit operations in Britain. Alarmed over the decision, the British Prime Minister David Cameron has convened an emergency meeting today and discussed the issue but it appears government has little to do on this issue. After the meeting, Cameron said the government is “doing everything it can” to save thousands of steel jobs – but warned there were “no guarantees of success”.
‘Nationalisation was not the answer but the government was “not ruling anything out”, he added.
Mr Cameron defended the government’s handling of the crisis after Labour said it was “missing in action”.
Shadow business secretary Angela Eagle said “the danger signs have been flashing red but have been largely ignored by the government” and accused the PM of having “failed to show any leadership”.
Tata Steel’s UK business – which directly employs 15,000 workers and supports thousands of others – includes plants in Port Talbot, Rotherham, Corby and Shotton. The Port Talbot plant – which employs 5,500 people – is said to be losing £1m a day. Mr Cameron said the situation at Port Talbot was of deep “concern” and said the steel jobs were “vital” to workers’ families and the communities. “The government will do everything it can working with the company to try and secure the future of steelmaking in Port Talbot and across our country. It’s a vital industry,” he said.
Tata Steel’s move could have an impact on Britain’s closely fought June 23 vote over whether to stay in the EU. Industry leaders have blamed the European Union for preventing London from taking greater steps to protect the steel industry.
Tata Steel is the second-largest steel producer in Europe. It has a crude steel production capacity of over 18 million tonnes per annum in Europe, but only 14 million is operational.