John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): I agree with the hon. Lady; we need a streel industry and there needs to be cross-party working to try to find the way forward. What does she think the Government could do to try to get more steel orders? The main problem is that there just is not enough British steel being bought.
Ms Angela Eagle (Wallasey) (Lab): One of the first things we have to do is stop the tsunami of unfairly traded and dumped Chinese steel, which is preventing fair trade and competition in the market at the moment.
The Opposition have had to drag this Government kicking and screaming to the House on no fewer than 12 occasions since 2014 to try to force them to turn their warm, sympathetic words on steel, which we all recognise they use, into effective action. Today, here we are doing so once again. The Opposition motion calls on the Government to stop using the European Union as an excuse for their own inaction. It asks them to support a more effective response to the dumping of Chinese steel, which threatens to decimate UK steel production. It calls on the Government to take tougher action to secure a level playing field for our industry.
John Redwood: Will the Secretary of State tell us what he and his colleagues in Government can do to ensure that in big public sector procurement programmes in defence, railway engineering or construction, we get the maximum British content for the steel industry?
The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade (Sajid Javid): That is an excellent question, and that was the second ask from the industry. Let me address the first ask, and I will come right back to that point.
The first ask was for lower energy bills. We will shortly be paying compensation on renewable energy costs, and we are in the process of securing agreement to exempt energy-intensive industries from such costs. The second ask was for more British steel to be used in public building projects. We have issued updated procurement guidance to all Departments to make it clear that they can now take into account wider socioeconomic considerations, as well as cost, when making purchasing decisions. We are the first member of the European Union to be able to use those new rules. We have also mapped rough estimates of steel that could be used for major projects including High Speed 2, new nuclear and offshore wind. We have shared those estimates with industry and will continue to keep them updated.