Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, has had his request for an emergency meeting with senior European ministers granted to discuss the pressures faced by the steel industry. After taking his concerns directly to Brussels, agreement has been reached that an emergency council will be held.
Following talks with Luxembourg, which holds the European Union (EU) presidency, it has been agreed that this will take place within the next 10 working days.
Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:
I have been lobbying member states and met European commissioners to drive up the importance of this issue. I have called for an urgent EU Council meeting on steel, and I am pleased the Luxembourg presidency has agreed that this will take place within the next 10 working days. I am determined this council leads to swift action, not just a talking shop.
This agreement came as the Business Secretary was meeting with a number of EU commissioners to drive home the current situation for the industry. The agreement was reached between the Business Secretary and Etienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg. Details and timings will be confirmed when the Presidency formally announces the meeting in the coming days.
Mr Javid met Industry and Internal Market Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska and Trade Commissioner Cecelia Malström.
The Secretary of State also raised steel within the wider context of the EU Commission’s work on the single market and industry with Vice-President Jyrki Katainen.
Notes to editors
- Further assistance for the industry was also announced by the Prime Minister that the UK is now expecting to have state aid approval to provide relief to Energy Intensive Industries (EIIs), specifically steel, from the cost of renewables policy by the end of this year. This means that the government will be providing relief to these sectors from the costs of the small feed in tariffs.
- It was also announced that further funds will be made available to commence compensation from the costs of the Renewables Obligation at the same time.
- These meetings and announcements are the latest steps the government has taken to help the steel sector, including paying over £50 million in compensation for energy costs to date.