Sheffield MP calls for more UK steel in Royal Navy warships
A Sheffield MP has demanded to know why less than a third of steel in new warships is from the UK.
Gill Furniss, Labour MP for Brightside and Hillsborough, spoke during defence questions in the House of Commons.
She said: “The UK steel sector supports over 30,000 jobs, many of which are in Sheffield
“The government has described the industry as ‘vital,’ so can the minister explain why less than 30 per cent of type 26 frigate steel is being sourced from the UK - and will he support Labour’s campaign to make, sell and buy more in Britain, starting with steel procurement in his own department?”
The Type 26 frigate is an anti-submarine warship. Eight will be built and delivered to the Royal Navy from the mid-2020s at an estimated total cost of £10bn in 2017.
In response, defence minister Jeremy Quin said 35 per cent of the steel by tonnage was from the UK - but 50 per cent by total value.
He added: “The difference why we are not able to do more reflects the nature of the steel industry in the UK, unfortunately not all of the specialist type of steel we need can be sourced in the UK, unfortunately.”
Steel producers, unions, the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire - which represents manufacturing firms in South Yorkshire – and opposition parties have called for action to reform procurement rules so more domestic firms are picked for national projects such as high speed rail, nuclear submarines and warships.