'Brexit issues' see British Steel seek government loan

18 Mai, 2019, 05:02 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
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British Steel is meanwhile the second biggest operator of the metal in the United Kingdom after Tata, while unions on Tuesday said the latest developments required government action.

British Steel has asked the Government for a taxpayer-backed loan worth £75m amid fears it could be heading for a collapse.

Gill Furniss, the shadow business minister, said: "The government's continued failure to support this vital industry is to blame".

The move comes just two weeks after British Steel secured a £100m loan from the government to pay its European Union carbon bill. It has had to secure a loan of £100 million from the United Kingdom government in order to meet its obligations over an European Union carbon tax and avoid a hefty fine.

Keen to stress that it's not just British Steel in dire need, but other companies too, the steelmaker, which employs around 4,500 directly and another 20,000 indirectly, has stated that "uncertainties around Brexit are posing challenges for all businesses including British Steel".

"Discussions are continuing about a package of additional support to assist the company address broader Brexit-related issues, whilst continuing with its investment plans".

It has blamed its predicament on orders drying up because of the Brexit impasse as well as the weakness of sterling and tensions between China and the United States over steel tariffs.

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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".

Quoting people close to the process, Sky said insolvency experts have been placed on standby in case British Steel can not secure the funds it needs.

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

Labour and trade union Unite rounded on the government over Brexit uncertainty, as well as the impact of energy costs and business rates on the steel sector.

It paid a nominal £1 fee for the assets, but pledged to plough up to £400m into the business, which it rebranded British Steel.

The news comes amid uncertainty over the future of Tata Steel's main European operations based in the United Kingdom after German industrial conglomerate Thyssenkrupp last week scrapped merger plans with the Indian giant.

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