Steel lifeline does not go far enough, says MEP during visit to Corby

MEP Glenis Willmott at Tata Steel
MEP Glenis Willmott at Tata Steel
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An MEP who visited Corby steelworks says the Government has not gone far enough with its offer to take a 25 per cent stake in the business.

Glenis Willmott, Labour’s leader in the European Parliament, paid a visit to Tata steel while on the campaign trail for the EU referendum.

Ms Willmott, who is campaigning for Britain to stay as a European Union member, said that the Government could offer more to steelworkers in the town whose jobs could be under threat if Tata does not find a buyer for its troubled UK steel business.

On Thursday business secretary Sajid Javid said that the Government would take a 25 per cent stake in the UK steel business if it helped to attract a buyer.

Ms Willmott said: “I think the Government should buy the whole industry.

“I think they should have acted more quickly to help the industry.”

She added that the Government was to blame for blocking higher attempts to regulate cheap Chinese steel imports.

The EU referendum will take place on Thursday, June 23 and there are still two months of fierce campaigning by politicians on both sides of the argument.

During a whistlestop visit to the Corby Cube, she said that people in Corby would be better off in Europe.

Ms Willmott said: “When I’m on the doorstep, people are telling me they don’t want to stop immigration, but that they are worried people from Europe are going to come and take their jobs because they will do the same job for less money.

“We want to stop agencies recruiting solely from abroad. Corby has more agencies than any where around here and we think that jobs in the town should be open to anyone.

“We need to close the loopholes that allow employers to bring in cheap labour.”

Ms Willmott said although there is migration into Britain, there are two million Brits taking advantage of the EU’s freedom of movement by living and working abroad.

She said: “There are so many unknowns. If we leave Europe, there are so many issues that we just don’t know what the outcome will be.”