Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, has called on the UK Government to back Welsh steel during Wales Questions this week.
Wales has been denied billions of pounds in consequential funding as a result of HS2 being classed by the UK Government as a Wales and England project, despite none of the new lines being built within Wales, something Chris Elmore has brought to the attention of UK Government Ministers on a number of occasions since he was elected.
Chris Elmore asked the Secretary of State for Wales if the UK Government would procure Welsh steel for the vast amounts of the material required to build the new high-speed trains and rail track, so that Wales may still benefit from the project.
This follows calls from the Labour Party on the UK Government to focus procurement policies on giving more contracts to UK firms. Almost £7bn of public money is spent each year in Wales through procurement. Thanks to the actions the Welsh Labour Government has taken, 52% of this is now spent through Welsh-based suppliers. The Conservatives in the UK Government must now put in place policies to explicitly involve more UK firms in procurement on a UK-wide scale.
Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, said:
“Wales is currently missing out on billions in consequential funding as a result of HS2. For Wales to see any benefits from the scheme – which needs around 3 million tonnes of steel to complete – the Department for Transport must look to procure Welsh steel and trains from CAF in Newport for the project.
The economy is still recovering from the Covid pandemic, and it’s vital that we back British businesses and make sure we are producing more in Britain and buying from British companies. The Welsh Labour Government is already leading the way on this issue, the UK Government must now follow their lead.
A UK Labour Government would ask every public body to give more contracts to British firms big and small, and pass a law requiring public bodies to report on how much they are buying from British businesses.
Currently, the UK Tory Government is not doing enough to allow UK forms access to government contracts. We need to see more action from them in order to protect British jobs.”