Labour have called on the government to ensure that they ‘buy British’ when sourcing steel for big projects.
Projects such as HS2 would be expected to buy more British steel under the policy, which is backed by the under-pressure industry. Whilst the government have set up a steel procurement taskforce to look at ways of boosting the industry, it has stopped short of directly mandating that public projects use UK-based suppliers.
By introducing ‘buy British’ guarantees, there would be a direct benefit to the UK of infrastructure spending. Labour’s analysis of government data showed that £25m went abroad in 2018-19 – that is almost a quarter of spending on steel for infrastructure. Steel will play an important role in providing the infrastructure necessary to drive a green economic recovery and protect jobs. It is essential that work remains in the UK where possible.
Speaking of the ‘buy British’ pledge, Luke said:
“Having domestic steelmaking capacity is vital to our national security, economic prosperity, and the green recovery. Yet, ministers are undermining these efforts by failing to secure British contracts in their procurement efforts. The Labour Party’s pledge to ‘buy British’ when sourcing steel puts jobs and the green recovery at the forefront, which can only benefit this country”