LONDON: Britain on Thursday said discussions between the government and Tata Steel officials had been “constructive and significant”, amid reports that the company was under pressure to reverse its decision to sell its UK assets.
Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales, who along with business secretary Sajid Javid met senior Tata officials in Mumbai recently, told Assembly members in Cardiff on Wednesday that he hoped the reports that British ministers were putting pressure on Tata to retain its UK assets before the June 23 Brexit referendum were not true.
Members voiced their concern over the future of Port Talbot and other Tata Steel plants in Wales.
“Tata seems to be the arbiter between itself and other bidders as to who should receive public investment,” Plaid Cymru’s business spokesman Adam Price said.
UK Independence Party member Neil Hamilton said Tata had enough profits from other UK assets to deal with the over 500 million-pound deficit in the British Steel Pension Scheme that is seen to deter potential buyers. “It just cannot be allowed to walk away from its responsibilities to wards Talbot steek workers”.
The UK government has launched a consultation process to restructure the pension scheme, which runs until June 23.
Meanwhile, Indian-origin businessman Sanjeev Gupta on Thursday announced a recruitment drive for 100 posts at two plants in Scotland he had acquired from Tata Steel this year.