Douglas Carswell

26 APR 2016

UKIP stands up for steel

For Britain's economy as a whole, steel is important. But for the economy of South Wales – where I'll be today – it's crucial. Losing the steel industry would be devastating. But that's what could happen if we stay in the EU.

Brussels makes it much harder for British steelmakers to do business. The EU's anti-fossil-fuel directives and regulations have driven up energy costs – and heavy industry is paying the price.

While Chinese manufacturers make the most of cheap power, fuel costs for ours have rocketed. EU interference in our energy market is making it impossible for our industry to compete.

The EU also stops us taking action to keep our steel industry afloat.

Tata's Port Talbot steelworks pays close to £10 million in business rates every year. But EU state-aid rules prohibit the Welsh Government from materially reducing that bill. Thanks to Brussels, we can't cut our own taxes, even when they're meant to be devolved to Wales.

Overproduction of steel in China is making it especially difficult for British steelmakers to break even. But, as EU members, we can't take action against Chinese steel dumping.

So what could we do if Britain leaves the EU?

To give our steel industry a sustainable future, we need to give our manufacturers the freedom to compete. That means lowering their taxes, and cutting their energy bills.

The Remainers talk about the 'economic benefits' of the EU as if they are spread equally. In reality, the gains are restricted to an elite few.

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Printed by Douglas Carswell of 61 Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex