Monday, 11 November 2019

Government beholden to Chinese conglomerate over Scunthorpe

Jingye, a Chinese steel-to-property conglomerate, is reported to be about to buy the insolvent British Steel from the government for around £70m. It is interesting that the Conservative-supporting Daily Telegraph appears to have broken the story. Saving thousands of jobs in the run-up to Christmas gives a rare boost to the Johnson government's flagging fortunes. Apart from the reported millions in taxpayer-provided grants and loans which the new owners may qualify for, the deal appears to have few benefits for the Chinese. Whether the UK is inside or outside the EU, steel from this country will continue to attract high tariffs in the US. Outside the EU, it will be subject to tariffs from Brussels also. Perhaps the Chinese are taking a punt on a pro-Remain vote in the general election? Or is the Chinese government behind the deal, encouraging Britain to become more indebted to the People's Republic, as so many African countries are?

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