UK launches inquiry after British Steel collapse

The UK House of Commons business, energy and industrial strategy select committee this weekend launched an inquiry into the future of the steel industry in the country, with the former owners of British Steel to be the first called to testify.

The BEIS Committee’s short inquiry on the future of steel in the UK will follow up on issues raised in a committee sector report and follows the recent liquidation of British Steel. There are also concerns about the potential impact of Brexit on the future health of the steel industry. The committee will hold its first session on June 26, hearing from the former British Steel owner Greybull Capital.

The inquiry will investigate “the role of Greybull Capital and other owners in supporting the UK steel industry as a whole,” the committee said, as well as “the performance of government in supporting the competitiveness of the UK steel industry through a sector deal and other policies.”

The inquiry will also examine the impact of Brexit with or without a withdrawal agreement. Uncertainty continues to plague the future of UK steel mills and supply chains, with the destiny of Tata Steel’s mill at Port Talbot, Wales — the UK’s largest steel plant — hanging in the balance.

The committee said it “expects to hold public evidence sessions with Greybull Capital, the trade union community, Tata, Liberty, Celsa and UK Steel, and the Secretary of State Rt Hon Greg Clark MP.

“A second hearing is expected to take place in mid-July,” according to the committee, which is inviting written submissions with a deadline of June 20.

— Annalisa Villa