Labour Opposition Day Motion is cynical attempt by Labour to hide its impotence over steel

Published Mar 01, 2016

Roger.jpgUKIP Energy Spokesman Roger Helmer MEP has called the Opposition Day Debate on steel “a cynical attempt to make the steel industry think the Labour party are prepared to do anything about their plight.”

Roger Helmer who represents the East Midlands in the European Parliament, “Several EU policies – energy, state aids, anti-dumping action, or inaction, have converged to create an existential  crisis for the steel industry.  More generally, EU policies are impacting all energy-intensive industries and forcing investment and jobs out of the EU altogether.

“The Tory government could campaign for market economy status of China to be removed, thus letting Brussels take short term measures to ensure a level playing field but they don't. The only long term solution is to take control of matters ourself.

“The EU 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.”

Yorkshire MEP Mike Hookem, who has been campaigning for the government to ignore EU state aid rules and help stop job losses in Rotherham and Scunthorpe, said the motion was "all mouth and no trousers" and "if Labour really cared about the steel industry they'd be campaigning for Brexit."

"The head of Tata steel in Rotherham pointed the finger of blame firmly at the high cost of electricity," said Mr Hookem, "yet all we've heard from Labour and the Unions is about China dumping steel on the world market.

"All Mr Corbyn can do is shake hands with workers in front of the cameras and tell them false promises about how they would have done things differently.

"We even had a rally in Brussels with workers from all across Europe complaining about China's market economy status and completely ignoring the real problems of green tariffs and uncompetitive industries thanks to excessive EU and government legislation.

If Unions are not telling their workers the truth - and I doubt they are because they and the Labour party have thrown their weight behind the UK remaining in the EU despite the devastating consequences to British industry, then we can say without a doubt they are not acting in the best interests of their members.

"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.

He continued, "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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