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Iron and Steel: Manufacturing Industries

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL4728, tabled on 17 January 2017

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the strategic importance to the UK of having a domestic steel industry; and whether the National Security Committee has discussed this issue.

Answered on

31 January 2017

Information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees is generally not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion. However, Government is committed to ensuring a sustainable and competitive steel industry in the UK.

We have taken action on public procurements of steel, in response to requests from the steel sector. In Autumn 2015, Government issued guidance to central government departments on how to ensure that they take full account of the value provided by UK steel producers when conducting their procurement activities. All central departments, their agencies and arm’s length bodies are already required to apply these guidelines on relevant projects. In addition, the steel procurement pipeline published in December 2016 will enable UK suppliers to plan to bid in response to procurement opportunities.

I can confirm that UK suppliers have provided significant quantities of steel for major defence equipment procurement programmes – such as both of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.