Joe Morris, the Labour candidate for the constituency of Hexham, encompassing Kielder, Tynedale, west Newcastle and Ponteland today criticised the government’s lack of industrial strategy, saying that Conservative failures on strategic industries such as the steel sector showed a stunning lack of strategic vision for other key sectors such as farming.
Joe Morris said:
“Many people across the North East will relate to the concerns of another proud industrial community in South Wales following recent announcements around Port Talbot steelworks. Whilst there is no immediate threat to jobs in Hexham, the wider issue of the UK government’s lack of a coherent industrial strategy is a national concern.
Our farming communities experience many of the same issues our steel sector does. Forced to compete on an uneven playing field by a government with no interest in creating a positive environment for businesses. Whether it’s Northumbrian farmers or Welsh steelworkers, our industries are forced to compete in a race to the bottom against nations that do not observe the same standards as us.
“The deal struck between Tata and the UK government would be hugely damaging for the entire manufacturing sector, and would undermine the UK’s sovereignty and security with the degradation of our primary steelmaking capacity. It would also offshore carbon emissions to heavy-polluting countries, so has no environmental benefit.
“Labour is clear that we will not accept this failed plan for decarbonisation on the cheap, and we urge ministers to look again at the credible multi-union alternative to their destructive agenda. We need our steel – that is why a Labour government will invest £3billion into securing the industry’s future.”
“Labour has pledged to deliver a ‘new deal for farmers’, seeking a veterinary agreement with the European Union: to cut red tape and costs at our borders and get our great British food exports moving again, supporting jobs across Northumberland, to use the government’s own purchasing power to back British produce with local or sustainably produced food, to turn on GB energy and deliver cheaper energy bills for families and farmers across the UK, to rewire Britain by making it easier for farmers to plug their renewable energy into the grid and to establish a Flood Resilience Task Force, reducing the risk of flooding across the UK with a COBRA-style taskforce to deliver drainage systems, flood defences and flood management schemes.’