Thursday, 31 March 2016

Steel industry sacrificed on Chinese atomic altar

Port Talbot MP Stephen Kinnock is quoted as suggesting the Government is “rolling out the red carpet to get market status at the World Trade Organisation” and suggested  Britain is the “ringleader” in blocking European commission attempts to improve anti-dumping policies (on Chinese steel) because our commercial and overall policy is being “dictated by Beijing.” (“Ministers in “disarray” over steel industry,” 31 March;
This analysis needs to be spelled out more explicitly. It seems our important steel is being sacrificed on the atomic alter of keeping China sweet over its investment in and support of the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, confidence in which is eroding even in France (“Member of EDF  board urges power plant delay,” 31 March;
The UK engagement  with China over nuclear power dates back the autumn of 2013, when chancellor George Osborne visited Beijing to seek inward investment in the Hinkley C project from the Chinese Government (“Cooperation projects inked,” China Daily, 16 October 2013 and was finalized last September (“George Osborne presses on with Hinkley power station despite criticism,”  26 September 2015;
The trades unionists in the Community union now rightly defending their jobs and the steel industry should have words with the leadership of the Unite union - who are even more gung-ho for Hinkley C to go ahead than the Conservative Government ministers - and point out they are not prepared to sacrifice their livelihoods for this astronomically expensive atomic white elephant, just to keep the Chinese on side.

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