Slap in the face for British industry: French steel to be used to build new trident submarines

Today it has emerged that French steel will be used to build Britain’s new nuclear submarines – just a day after the Defence Secretary boasted in a speech to the Conservative party conference that he was travelling to Barrow-in-Furnace to cut the steel for the first submarine.

Tom, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on steel, said:

When the Defence Secretary cuts the French steel for the first trident submarine today, he is cutting a potential lifeline for hundreds of British steel jobs.

Once again government action on steel has failed to live up to their words. The government and ministers at BEIS have reassured me that they understand the strategic importance of maintaining a steel industry in the UK. So I struggle to understand why they have failed to use British steel when building the new trident submarines.

The government, if they are serious about securing the future of the steel industry, need to start doing all they can to get companies to buy British steel for infrastructure projects from HS2 to Heathrow. These projects could help get the industry back on its feet and competing globally.

While, I hope, the government is busy devising an industrial strategy they are missing short term opportunities to help this vital industry.

The Daily Mirror, which first reported the story, estimates the steel contract is worth tens of millions of pounds and could have protected at least 1,000 UK jobs.

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