Tata link-up with ThyssenKrupp 'could be steel death knell'

Sunrise behind the Tata steel plant Image copyright Getty Images

The UK Government should temporarily nationalise Tata Steel's UK operations if the company links up with a German steelmaker, a Plaid Cymru AM has said.

Adam Price, shadow cabinet secretary for finance and economy, said he was "concerned" the sale process had been suspended.

He said a link-up with ThyssenKrupp could be the "death knell" of the industry and lead to job losses.

The Welsh Government is calling for an urgent meeting with the company.

It is looking to clarify the situation and said it remains willing to help.

'Oppose at all costs'

Mr Price said the link-up would "likely lead to the closure of the Port Talbot steelworks".

The sale of Tata Steel's UK business is on hold as the company considers a European tie-up, creating further uncertainty for British steelworkers.

Speaking after a board meeting in Mumbai, Tata said it had started talks with "strategic players in the steel industry".

Mr Price said: "I am very concerned at the news of the suspension of the sales process and am deeply disappointed that the Wales-led management and worker buyout will not be able to go to the next stage of the process.

"Merger with the German steelmaker would very likely lead to the closure of the Port Talbot steelworks and the concentration of activity at Ijmuiden, and must be opposed at all costs."

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said he was interested to hear the "basis and evidence used to make such bold remarks", adding that the link-up was "encouraging".

"The UK Government is determined to secure a long term sustainable future for steelmaking in south Wales through a variety of multi million pound support measures being made available," he said.

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