MEP anger as socialists block key EU debate on steel

Anthea McIntyre spoke of her dismay today after a socialist-led coalition of MEPs blocked a request from Conservatives for an emergency debate to be held in the European Parliament this afternoon on the plight of the steel industry.

Conservative MEPs had called for a statement from the EU Commission and Council to highlight possible measures to ensure that British steel is able to compete on an international footing, following recent closures and job losses.

Miss McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, said: "I am saddened and dismayed that some MEPs seem not to appreciate the urgency of the threat to the steel sector.

"Many people's livelihoods are under threat from a toxic combination global factors, so it is hugely annoying that we will not now hear from the Commission today what measures it has in mind to stop the rot.

"People facing redundancy in my region - in Wolverhampton, West Bromwich, Dudley and elsewhere - will feel badly let down. 

"The leadership shown by UK Business Secretary Sajid Javid is welcome in calling for a special meeting of the Competitiveness Council earlier this week.

"The meeting of ministers from across Europe showed strong agreement on the need to take concrete actions, including speeding up investigations into unfair trade and ensuring member states can make best use of State Aid rules."

"Conservative MEPs want to ensure proper enforcement of the laws of the market place, stopping anti-competitive behaviour, and giving our industry the opportunity to compete in the global market."