Belfast Telegraph

EU Remain vote will bring end of UK steel industry, Nigel Farage warns

A vote for the UK to Remain in the European Union (EU) on June 23 will spell the "end of the steel industry in this country" while a vote to Leave will give it a "fighting chance", Nigel Farage has claimed.

The Government has ruled out nationalising the industry as thousands of jobs hang in the balance after Indian conglomerate Tata announced it intends to sell its UK assets, including the steelworks at Port Talbot in Wales.

The Ukip leader was asked if a Brexit would help save Welsh jobs and secure the future of the industry as he handed in a bid to the Electoral Commission for the Grassroots Out group to be named the "lead" Leave organisation ahead of June 23.

"We can give you a chance," he said. "We can give you a fighting chance.

"With competitive energy costs, protecting against unnecessary, unfair dumping and thirdly there was the whole issue of EU procurement, whether we are building a warship or whatever it is ... under EU rules we have to tender this out to German companies and French companies as well.

"So yeah: Could we give the British steel industry a chance? Yes.

"If we vote to Remain on June 23 it is the end of the steel industry in this country. Simple as that."

Mr Farage partially blamed the "industrial massacre" suffered by the UK on its decision to join the EU.

"It isn't just steel," he said.

"I think I'm right in saying in the last 12 years we have closed both our aluminium smelters, we have closed nearly two dozen chemical factories, we have closed, of course, most of our coal-fired power stations.

"There has been an industrial massacre in this country of heavy engineering and heavy manufacturing and yeah, sure, there are global challenges with the rise of India and China, but goodness me we have literally beggared our own industries and the start of much of that process was the EU."

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