Statement on the loss of 1,700 jobs at the SSI plant in Redcar

“This is a tremendously sad day for Redcar, the North East and the United Kingdom.  Thousands of jobs will now be lost directly at SSI, and thousands more indirectly.  Redcar will be hit particularly hard as it is already has high levels of unemployment.  Our proud British manufacturing tradition deserves better than this, and the real tragedy is that it is so unnecessary: the industry will be viable in the long term

The high pound, Chinese market dumping, high cost of raw materials and especially government-caused artificially-inflated energy prices in an energy-intensive industry have contributed to temporary unprofitability. Steel is trading at a fraction of the price it did in 2010, but it will recover. This is a textbook example of the need for state aid, because now much-needed skills will disappear from our economy.

Our government blames EU rules; I blame our government too, for not putting British business above EU rules. Today is a poignant reminder of how remaining in the European Union costs British jobs. The message for the forthcoming referendum campaign could not be clearer: for all Labour’s scaremongering about jobs supposedly ‘at risk’ if we leave the EU, jobs are being lost on a daily basis because we’re still in.”
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