In the wake of the UK’s decision to withdraw from the European Union, this Friday’s Tata board meeting has taken on a renewed importance, Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Minister for Finance and Economy Adam Price has said.
Adam Price called on the Welsh Government to make strong representations on behalf of Wales in the run-up to Friday’s board meeting, warning that it was more important than ever that a buyer is secured for Tata’s sites in Wales.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Minister for Finance and Economy Adam Price said:
“In this uncertain period following the decision to withdraw from the European Union, now is the time for the Welsh Government to put maximum pressure on Tata to secure a buyer for its sites in Wales. Wales’ economy has been thrown into an uncertain state, and Friday’s meeting of the Tata board has now taken on a new importance.
“The Welsh Government has offered financial support to the management buy-out bid from Excalibur, and I hope that we get a positive decision in favour of this bid so that we have the best chance of securing the long-term future of the steel industry in Wales.
“When Friday’s board meeting happens, I hope that the UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills is there, along with representatives from the Welsh Government, making the case for Wales. Now is not the time to take their eye off the ball.”
Bethan Jenkins, Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales West, said:
“There is still plenty more that the Welsh Government can do in terms of working with Europe to save our steel industry. Plaid Cymru has argued for months that specific European funding is available to support the construction of a new power plant at Port Talbot, which would reduce the company’s energy bills – thus making Welsh steel more competitive – while cutting emissions.
“It can also draw down Horizon 2020 funding that would help create a fully realised steel research and development centre at Swansea University’s new Innovation Campus. Not one R&D centre of this kind in the world has blast furnaces within site of the facility, so there is a real opportunity to develop a global leader here in Wales – the Welsh Government just needs to grasp this opportunity with both hands.”