Steel crisis: MPs set for emergency debate in Commons

The future of the steelworks in Port Talbot is still uncertain Credit: Benjamin Wright/PA

MPs are set to hold an emergency debate to discuss the current steel industry crisis facing the UK.

The Commons debate, which is scheduled to last up to three hours, has been given an emergency slot after calls from shadow business secretary Angela Eagle for further discussions on the industry's future amid fears it was "hanging by a thread".

It comes as the formal sale process for Tata Steel's UK operations began on Monday, with thousands of jobs on the line if a buyer cannot be found.

A buyer has reportedly already been found for Tata's Scunthorpe plant but the future of the larger Port Talbot still hangs in the balance, although the government has suggested it may step in to help aid the securing of a sale.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said on Monday the government would consider the possibility of "co-investing with a buyer" by providing loans on commercial terms or taking a minority stake in the plant to ensure the industry's survival.

The government has said it may step in to help Credit: PA

The future of the UK steel industry has been in doubt since Tata Steel announced last month that it wanted to sell off all its UK assets as it faced losses of up to £1m a day and needed vast capital commitment that it could not afford to support.