Sad news this week about the closure of another steel plant in the UK.
As I have blogged before, the current UK regulations on emissions and sky-high energy costs – both a result of EU legislation – make energy intensive businesses almost impossible to run profitably here in Britain.
You can listen to more about the negative impacts of EU regulation in Roger Helmer’s recent speech.
But today I read another line about the story that shows just how the EU is bad for business.
One of the main parts of a steelworks is the coke oven. It operates at high temperatures (over 1000°C) and needs to be maintained hot all the time. If it cools, the refractory lining will be damaged costing tens of thousands to replace and taking many weeks to get back up to working temperature.
The owners of SSI have asked the government to help them pay the cost of the fuel to keep the ovens hot so that either the plant can be restarted or sold more easily in the future.
The government said that SSI wanted ministers to make an “open-ended funding commitment” to maintain the coke ovens, but this would have been “in breach of state aid rules”.
What the BBC and government have disingenuously omitted here is that, in fact,
this would have been “in breach of EU state aid rules”.
Outside the EU, the government could have helped maintain the plant as a going concern, giving it a much better chance of being sold and saving the 1700+ jobs.
Just one more reason why we will be Better Off Out.