Belgium, Brussels: As the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union in a national referendum, European Steel Association warns that Brexit might represent another blow to the UK steel industry, its value chains and the wider economy, and have far reaching effects on the European steel sector.
“The UK steel industry is a vital component of the overall European steel sector, and Brexit throws its close integration into Europe’s value chains into doubt. It is clear that a vote for Brexit would further damage the UK steel industry”, said Axel Eggert, Director General of the European Steel Association (EUROFER).
The UK steel sector heavily depends on the EU as a market for its steel products: in 2015 71% of its total flat products exports and 65% of its total long product exports were sold to EU countries. Around 13,000 people work in the UK steel industry.
Of particular importance is the UK’s international trade position. With the UK leaving the EU, it will have to find alternative arrangements for the conduct of its trade policy.
“Trade policy is much more effective as a bloc; inside the EU the UK gets a better deal internationally than it could ever hope to achieve outside”, said Mr Eggert.
EUROFER believes the steel industry stands at the heart of the European project, so working together to improve how the EU works helps to shape better regulation that supports the sector.