Business minister Anna Soubry says ‘temporary ownership’ of Tata steel’s assets could be an option, after the company’s shock decision to sell off loss making parts of its UK business.
The Tory minister told the BBC there is “huge sympathy” for the steel giant, but said it is losing £1m a day.
She said the Government would be prevented from nationalising the company by EU state aid rules, but asked if the Government could “hold the assets” until a buyer can be found, she said that would be an option.
Pressed on whether she would be willing to sanction owning a part of UK steel, which would represent a major break in Tory policy, she said: “I’m not sure ‘own’ is the right term. We do need to look at all options, but first we need to get time from Tata to run a proper sale process.”
The Government is under mounting pressure today to rescue the Port Talbot steelworks after Tata announced shock plans to sell its British steel business.
Ministers faced calls to nationalise the plant as 15,000 jobs across the UK were plunged into jeopardy by Tata’s decision to hive off its UK steel arm, following a crunch board meeting in Mumbai.