India’s Tata Steel wants to sell Britain’s biggest steelmaker, putting thousands of jobs at risk and forcing the government to seek a solution ahead of an EU referendum dominated by concerns about the economy.
After a lengthy board meeting in Mumbai, Tata Steel said it would end its almost decade-long venture in Britain – birthplace of the modern steel industry – and leave the country entirely.
Hit by falling prices, high costs and cheap Chinese competition, Tata said its financial performance in Britain had worsened sharply in recent months and it would exit as soon as it could.
The move could have an impact on Britain’s closely fought June 23 vote over whether to stay in the European Union. Britain’s anti-EU media have blamed Brussels for preventing London from taking greater steps to protect the industry, although supporters of membership say EU policy is not responsible for the industry’s plight.