British Steel seeks Government loan to avert collapse

Galtero Lara
May 18, 2019

Once part of Tata Steel, British Steel (rebranded) was sold off for a nominal sum of £1 during the 2016 European Steel crisis.

The news comes a fortnight after British Steel secured a £100 million emergency government loan to ensure that it avoided a steep fine from Brussels and paid an European Union carbon bill on time.

A spokesperson for the the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy said: "As this is speculation, we won't be commenting".

"Thousands of United Kingdom jobs are on the line, not to mention the entire future of our proud steel industry", said Ross Murdoch, national officer of the GMB union.

According to Sky News, British Steel is seeking a further £75m loan from the government, with insolvency experts placed on standby in case further funds can not be secured.

Sources close to British Steel said ongoing uncertainty about future tariffs on steel exports had proved to be the "worst possible outcome".

British Steel is said to be having "constructive discussions" with it's stakeholders on how to proceed and a range of support measures addressing "broader Brexit issues".

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It claimed "uncertainties around Brexit are posing challenges for all businesses including British Steel" as unions called on the government to "take action".

"This is a sound business producing high quality steel".

Ross Murdoch, GMB national officer said, "This Government has a track record of sitting on its hands while United Kingdom manufacturing collapses round its ears".

"I am calling on the government to take the necessary action to support our steel industry at this critical time".

Unite national officer Tony Brady said: 'The workforce of British Steel worked tirelessly to secure the steelmaker's future during the hard times, and given a fighting chance will do so again.

Britain's second biggest steelmaker wants another loan of £75 million to avert its demise, Sky News reported citing unnamed insiders, adding that insolvency experts were on standby.

'The Government must also put UK steel at the heart of major infrastructure and ensure projects like the Royal Navy's new Fleet Solid Ships are built in the UK using UK steel'. Anna Turley, Labour MP for nearby Redcar, said the firm "cannot be allowed to fail".

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