Brussels steel conference "ignoring the elephant in the room of energy prices"

Published Feb 15, 2016

jane-collins.jpgUKIP Employment spokeswoman Jane Collins MEP has lent her support to the steel workers protesting in Brussels but said they were "ignoring the elephant in the room".

It is right that the steel conference should be taking place in Brussels where much of the devastating legislation and decisions have come from, but it is ridiculous to ignore green tariffs and higher energy prices which have made the UK industry less competitive," she said.

"When the boss of one of the plants which has had to lay off workers firmly points the finger of blame at the high cost of electricity it is duplicitous of EU loving political parties and the unions to say it is only because of China's market economy status."

The Yorkshire MEP said she felt workers and their families were "being kept in the dark" about the real reason for the huge number of job losses.

"Being competitive is an anathema to Brussels", the Yorkshire MEP said, "and the consequences of this is mass job losses and the death knell to our steel industry in the UK.

"They might talk about 'growth and jobs' and the importance of the single market but there is no flexibility in the regulations which businesses have to adhere to.

"The pathetic sight of a British minister having to go begging to the Commission to ask for permission to help steel workers should heed a warning to those people who think the 'emergency brake' on welfare benefits is also anything more than a sop: When Brussels is in charge it's lumbering incompetence and out of touch policy is a poisoned touch to business success and enterprise."

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