During a visit to British Steel in North Lincolnshire, the Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer will today (Thursday) commit a future Labour government to invest alongside the steel industry in the latest green technologies and innovation.
Attacking the Conservative, Sir Keir will say that “the UK is becoming a passive bystander in a global race for the jobs and industries of the future,” as he outlines his party’s long-term plan to drive innovation in the sector.
He will commit Labour to match-funding investments in technologies including in hydrogen and electric arc furnace technology, “to secure this vital UK industry, rebuild our industrial strength, and turbocharge an expansion of skilled jobs.”
Adding that Labour’s plans for cheap, clean home-grown power will also drive the long-term competitiveness for UK steel, driving down the costs that have blighted the competitiveness of British firms compared to European peers like France and Germany. The party says plans to boost generation of offshore wind, solar, nuclear, hydrogen will generate demands for millions of tonnes of UK steel.
Sir Keir has previously slammed the government’s failure to secure the long-term future of UK steel, asserting that “the Tories’ lack of industrial strategy has left the sector in a vicious cycle of crisis and bailout.”
Labour says that 11,000 jobs have been lost from energy intensive industries since 2015. They contrast, the UK Government’s lack of a major investment plan to competitors like France, Germany and the US race, who are leading the global race for green steel jobs, with long-term programs such as President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which aims to spur investment in green technology in the United States by making available a whopping $369bn in subsidies through grants, loans and tax credits to public and private entities.
Labour’s investment plan for UK steel will be underpinned by an industrial strategy, which the Labour leader asserts as ‘providing the long-term stability and certainty that business and industry are crying out for.’ Labour’s industrial strategy outlines the importance of strategic sovereign capabilities like steel that are vital for national economic resilience and key supply chains.
Outlining Labour’s plan for the steel sector, Sir Keir said:“Steel is integral to a modern economy, and my Labour government will back it, secure it, and grow it, creating high paying, productive jobs in communities all over the country, for generations.
“Through our Green Prosperity Plan, we will invest alongside industry in technology and innovation, as well as increasing demand for UK steel from our plan to build turbines, railways, and carbon capture infrastructure.
“In the last 13 years the Tories’ complacency and inaction has led to a self-defeating cycle of crisis and bailout, failing workers, industry, and the taxpayer.
“Securing investment in steel will create a virtuous circle of cheaper infrastructure, jobs, thriving industry, and economic growth. Labour will get on with it.”
Keir Starmer also accused the Prime Minister of acting like a “passive bystander” when it comes to securing international investment in industries like steel that can support business and secure jobs here in the UK.
Commenting on Rishi Sunak’s visit to the USA, he said: “The Prime Minister is impotently asking the President to open up to UK business, but those asks aren’t underpinned by any sense of a plan for UK industry.
“The United States’ ground-breaking legislation has created more jobs in seven months than the UK has in seven years. The Conservative response is to criticise it from the side lines, then ask for a piece of the pie, woefully exposing their lack of plan.
“The UK is becoming a passive bystander in a global race for the jobs and industries of the future. Labour will pull all levers needed to drive forward jobs and growth in Britain. We’ll invest to rebuild Britain’s industrial strength. We’ll harness the ambition and hunger of British business, the skills and talents of our workers, and create tens of thousands of high skilled jobs, growing vibrant economies in all parts of the UK.
“The Tories aren’t on the pitch, leaving Britain in the changing room.”