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Does my Right Honourable Friend agree that what the steel industry, including in the Black Country, needs above all else is a long-term strategy, with a pipeline of projects that can create good opportunities for those who work in the sector?
Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
My hon. Friend is right, and he is right, as his neighbour Mr McFadden did, to call attention to the role of the Black Country. They have a phrase in the Black Country, “Made in the Black Country, sold around the world”, and that is a proud and accurate boast. However, there are opportunities in the UK for those products, and the Government have published a forward pipeline of infrastructure investments that require steel so that companies can gear themselves up to participate in procurement.
That is very important, and I would like to pay tribute to the Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, my hon. Friend Andrew Stephenson, who has responsibility for industry. He has signed the steel charter and is promoting it across all public bodies. Again, it requires and encourages the use of British steel to be taken into account in all procurement decisions.