UKIP MEPs have united in condemnation of the closure of the Redcar steel works and Jonathan Arnott, Redcar’s local UKIP Euro-MP, has called for transitional state aid to help the steel works survive the temporary down turn in the steel market.
Jonathan Arnott MEP said: "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 is likely to recover. This may be a textbook example of the need for transitional state aid, because now much-needed skills will disappear from our economy."
Roger Helmer, UKIP's Energy spokesman said, ”These workers are being sacrificed to climate alarmism and Brussels Bureaucrats. The Government sets fanciful targets for restoring manufacturing in Britain while our energy policies create an industrial massacre (as Antonio Tajani, the then European Commissioner for Industry has pointed out).”
UKIP Employment spokesman Jane Collins MEP said: "We keep on hearing that we need to stay in the EU for jobs but the examples of jobs which have been lost thanks to the relentless drive to meet EU green targets tells a different story.
"British jobs are being lost because our membership of the EU makes doing business in the UK, particularly manufacturing, uncompetitive.
"The North of England desperately needs private businesses to invest, particularly as the government has no interest in doing so, but there won't be a UK power house, let alone a northern power house, unless we create the conditions for businesses to thrive."