tv BBC News at Five BBC News August 11, 2017 5:00pm-5:46pm BST
this is bbc news. the headlines at 5:00pm — 11 people from the same family are found guilty of offences under the modern slavery act, following one of the biggest investigations of its kind. the family targeted vulnerable men. the victims were kept in what were described as "truly shocking" conditions, some for decades. they were living in caravans that were dirty. they had no running water. many had to use the wood as a toilet. and some weere living in stable blocks with animals. the other main stories on bbc news at 5:00 — germany and russia condemned the escalating war of words between the us and north korea, urging the policy is solution to the conflict. —— diplomacy. but president trump warns the us military is "locked and loaded" should pyongynag act unwisely. a new deal for tata steel — it'll safeguard jobs, but cut pensions for thousands of workers. three men have beenjailed for turning an underground nuclear bunker in wiltshire into a cannabis factory.
and a spy in stilettos — charlize theron stars as the atomic blonde in this week's blockbuster. we'll have james king's verdict on that and the rest of the new releases in the film review. it's 5:00. our main story — 11 members of the same family have been convicted in a series of trials involving modern slavery, thought to be the largest of its kind in british legal history. members of the rooney family from lincoln ran a company called lincolnshire driveways that specialised in tarmacking and block paving.
but their staff were vulnerable slaves who they picked up from the streets, some of whom were alcoholics, homeless, or suffering learning difficulties. our correspondent linsey smith reports. patrick rooney, seen posing for pictures with staff at the family business, lincolnshire driveways. it looks professional, offering tarmacking and block paving, but some of the workers were slaves, kept in appalling conditions and paid little or nothing. the court heard how they were approached on the streets by the defendants, and offered work. one homeless victim, who was picked up in princes avenue in hull, said he thought he would be away for seven days. he lived on the rooneys‘ land in a caravan for seven years. reverend jeremy cullimore worked in a homeless shelter in lincoln. he tried to protect potential victims. we introduced a number of systems, so that the people who were homeless were not left alone and vulnerable. we were aware that the rooneys
would have a series of vans going around seeking to find vulnerable people on the streets, and persuade them they could offer them a nice caravan, and so on and so forth. me and my staff would often see them, and they would see us. there was across—the—road meaningful looks. lincolnshire driveways states on its website that it's under new management. but one customer who dealt with patrick rooney described how some workers were treated. we protected his identity. they were not treated as civilised at all. they were treated as subhuman. i was truly astonished. there was no machine to strip the old tarmac off, nothing. these guys did it all by hand. and it was extremely hard work for them, i will give them that. they didn't stop.
they didn't have any breaks or anything. all they got was us making a few cups of tea and some chocolate biscuits. they were delighted to get a cup of tea. i knew and they knew that they weren't going to get anything else, not for the day. at an earlier hearing, thejury were shown pictures of the caravans where the victims lived. the judge described these as squalid and utterly appalling. by contrast, the rooneys enjoyed fast cars, foreign holidays, and, as the judge described, lived in immaculate homes. at the heart of this court case, 18 vulnerable slaves. some of them had lost years or even decades. some malnourished, some beaten, all exploited. linsey smith, bbc news. our correspondent linsey smith told us why this case is so significant. for two reasons, firstly
because of the sheer number of victims that were rescued, there were 18 victims, all vulnerable men. many were homeless, had addiction problems, or had learning disabilities, some of them quite severe. and those men were rescued by lincolnshire police. this is the biggest investigation that lincolnshire police have ever undertaken, and it is the first slavery case that they have taken all the way to conviction. it has taken them three years, they have been telling us earlier today how they had to present tens of thousands of pieces of evidence to nottingham crown court in order to secure the conviction crown court in order to secure the conviction of those 11 members of the same family. these men were lured on a promise of a place to live, of food, of paid work, but in reality, what they were given was to live in a dilapidated caravans with no running water, no toilet. they were promised food, but what they often got was scraps from the defendants' table. one victim even spoke
in court about how, when he was fed, the scraps had teeth marks in them. they were beaten, some of them, and they were controlled by that fear of violence, that threat of violence. we have been talking to lincolnshire police, who say that some of those victims did have finances of their own, and the defendants controlled those finances as a means of keeping them there. so the treatment was described in court as utterly appalling. the chief superintendent in this case has given her reaction to today's verdict. this is the largest slavery case that clinton to police has ever undertaken. it has taken three years to get to where we are. —— lincolnshire police. we served thousands of pages to the court, so
thatis thousands of pages to the court, so that is the level we are talking about. how bad did this get? gets touched lots of offences, but how serious offences. how bad was it? modern slavery is an extremely serious offence. some of these individuals, they were being kept in really a pollen conditions. they we re really a pollen conditions. they were living in caravans that were dirty, had no running water. many had to use the wood as a toilet. somewhere living in stable blocks with animals as well. they were treated really poorly, subject to threats and intimidation. some were subject to violence. in essence, many subject to violence. in essence, ma ny lost subject to violence. in essence, many lost many years of their lives, living on the sites. one individual we believe to have been the 26 years in total, and his family had given him upfor dead, in total, and his family had given him up for dead, so that is gravity of what we are dealing with. the pensions regulator has approved a plan by tata steel to give
thousands of its workers in the uk less generous pensions but safeguard their jobs. the deal should secure the pensions of 130,000 steelworkers and stop the company becoming insolvent. finalising the pension arrangements is expected to clear the way for a possible merger with a rival german company. our correspondent, simon gompertz, reports. i apologise, that clearly relates to the previous story we were talking about, the court verdicts. we will try to retrieve our explanatory piece from simon, but first, we will go to our wales correspondent, thomas morgan, in port talbot tonight. give us your sense of the reaction to this. it is mixed feelings. the jobs are secure, which is the positive, but mixed feelings
for obvious reasons. that is exactly the way to put it, really. the unions that were here earlier described it in the best way, saying that it was the lesser of two cables, in their opinion. that it was the lesser of two cables, in theiropinion. —— that it was the lesser of two cables, in their opinion. —— two evils. they were told to take the deal or come to a compromise. otherwise all of the steelworks across the uk would close, the business becoming insolvent. so there was only one option really. the workers have been given an option to do with the pension, essentially they will have some options in terms of what parts they wa nt to options in terms of what parts they want to put it in, but essentially, they will not be able to carry on but the more lucrative deal when they became employees of tata steel. they will take a cut to the pension deal, whether that is going into the new pension deal created, carry on with the new british steel pension
scheme that will be underpinned by the pension protection fund. that will not be as good as the one they originally thought they would be in, whichever option they choose, but as i say, there will still be jobs here at least in the medium term. what that does mean, that this pension deal has gone through, is that a deal has gone through, is that a deal between tata steel and the german steel giant is now closer. the significance of that is that for port talbot itself, and that is because many steel economists feel that if those two skill conglomerates were to merge, there could be a fight to stay how many of the steel—making facilities would remain. of course, port talbot is one of those. with the still be a reason to keep this one going, and many feel that there would be, as there are a large car manufacturing basesin there are a large car manufacturing bases in the uk, so it would make sense to keep it. but others stayed
at other steel—making facilities in europe are better conditions. so it remains to be seen what the long term future holds for port talbot if that mega steel deal does go through. thank you, thomas. we will also talk to the mp for the area, labour's stephen kinnock. good evening. is this a situation where this outcome is the lesser of two evils? it is good that we have seen an end to the uncertainty today. over the last year castle, steelworkers and the community have been through hell. there have been a number of bitter pills to swallow. the vote back in february was conclusive, the workforce was voting for the future of the steel industry, even though that meant
taking a hit on pensions. it is testa m e nt taking a hit on pensions. it is testament once again to the professionalism and the dedication of the steel workforce. passionate about the steel that they make. they make the best steel that money can buy in the uk, and they have done the necessary to enable the industry to move forward. what is critical now is that the trustees and the company do a really good job on communicating with every single steelworker, every single case is different in terms of what the best pension decision for them is, so they can make informed choices about they can make informed choices about the future for themselves and their families. and i want to talk about the broader picture any moment, but first, some of the individuals who have been caught in this, do you have been caught in this, do you have empathy and sympathy for the fa ct have empathy and sympathy for the fact that there are some, particularly older members of the workforce, feeling very let down your? if you have spent years saving to reach a certain level of income in your retirement, and now you are told, you are just not going to get
that any more, i mean you are going to feel bitter, aren't you? it is a bitter pill to swallow. there is no point trying to sugar coat that pill. this is a really tough day, and a tough set of decisions that have been taken. tata steel have made the decision that, if this did not happen, they would go into insolvency. the pensions regulator and pension protection fund crawled all over the case, and concluded that they agreed with tata steel, and took the view that if we did not go down this road, insolvency was the only other option. and we have to assume that that is correct, that thatis to assume that that is correct, that that is the case, and in that case, it is indeed the lesser of two evils. i would also want to add that one of the reasons that the steel industry has got into this very difficult place over the last couple of years has been the complete failure of the british government to have a proactive, industrial policy.
we are still using swedish steel to build british warships. we're not dealing with the dumping of chinese steel, we still have the most uncompetitive energy market in the entire european union, and so our steel industry is not being given the level playing field that it is asking for. so we need to now see the british government following the inspirational example of the steelworkers who have stepped up to do what is necessary. i hope that the british government will take inspiration from that and do the same. how do you now, as the local mp going forward, how do you ensure now that tata steel sticks to all its promises, the investment that has promised here follows through, how do you keep on top of that and what will bbc into the government about that? we have to be vigilant now. we have had promises for company mac, which was the basis of the vote of the workforce that took place back in federally. —— promises from tata steel. guaranteeing futures of the blast furnaces.
guaranteeing no compulsory redundancies. those are legally binding commitments, and we have to make sure that we hold mane's feet to the fire on those. in terms of the british government. they have raised the issues of steel hundreds of times in parliament, and in the media, and we will continue to do that. it is completely unacceptable, in my view, that the british government hasjust in my view, that the british government has just ordered a fleet of frigates for the royal navy, which will be using a large proportion of swedish steel for the construction. we have lots of warm words and rhetoric from the british government, and it is really time that we start to see those words being converted into action. stephen kinnock, thanks for joining being converted into action. stephen kinnock, thanks forjoining us. the labourmp. we kinnock, thanks forjoining us. the labour mp. we will talk more about that story after 5:30pm. this is bbc news at 5:00. the headlines — 11 people from the same family
are found guilty of offences under the modern slavery act, following one of the biggest investigations of its kind. the family targeted vulnerable men. the victims were kept in what were described as "truly shocking" conditions, some for decades. germany and russia condemned the escalating war of words between the us and north korea, urging the policy is the only but president trump warns the us military is "locked and loaded" should pyongynag act unwisely. a new deal for tata steel — it'll safeguard jobs, but cut pensions for thousands of workers. the workforce voted for the deal, but many say they feel cheated. in sport, the premier league is back tonight, but liverpool are in a battle to hang onto their star player, philippe coutinho, who has handed ina player, philippe coutinho, who has handed in a transfer request. barcelona are understood to have had a bit of £90 million rejected. with or without him, the 25th premier league season kicks off in just under two hours. it is the first time it has started on a friday night. the first matches arsenal versus leicester. and britain's
robbie kravitz is through to the finals at the world athletic events. more on those stories in around 15 minutes. the us is reported to be engaging in continued "back channel diplomacy" with north korea, even as president trump steps up the war of words with pyongyang. there has been fiery rhetoric from donald trump again today, with him tweeting that us military options are "locked and loaded". pyongyang is threatening to fire missiles towards the us bases on the pacific island of guam. there have been renewed international calls, including from germany and china, for calm. tom burridge reports. as the war of words between america and north korea continues, the us defence secretary this week with his vietnamese counterpart, at a time when security in asia feels more fragile. the man in charge at the pentagon is emphasising the ‘d‘ word.
i didn't expect all of you to come out here! you can see the american effort is diplomatically—led, it has diplomatic traction and is gaining diplomatic results, and i want to stay right there right now. the tragedy of war is well—enough known. it doesn't need another characterisation beyond the fact that it would be catastrophic. but the tone from the president was very different. his message to north korea's leader feels personal. he has said things that are horrific, and with me he's not getting away with it. he got away with it for a long time, between him and his family. he's not getting away with... this is a whole new ball game. in a tweet this morning, president trump said military solutions were locked and loaded should north korea act unwisely. hopefully, he said, kimjong—un will find another path. angler michael said president
trump's colourful language was not helpful. —— angular medical. —— angela merkel. translation: helpful. —— angular medical. —— angela merkel. translationzlj helpful. —— angular medical. —— angela merkel. translation: i do not think the escalation of the language is the right approach. north korea has carried out missile test after missile test this year. the latest type could possibly hit alaska. each an act of defiance towards america and its allies. russia's foreign minister, survey level, said there was a risk that things could escalate further. he said, when a fight has nearly broken heart, the smarter side will step away first. —— broken out.
japan's missile defence system is more relevant now. the japanese government sees pressure via sanctions as the answer. all options are on the table. we are currently trying to have as much and strongest possible pressure to the north koreans so that we will have a way out in a peaceful way. recent tests of american air defence systems in south korea. the island of guam, which pyongyang identified as a possible target, is also protected. but for all the hot language, the atmosphere on this tropical us territory in the western pacific is cool. jane o'brien is in washington. this suggestion that there has in fa ct this suggestion that there has in fact been back channel diplomacy between the countries, what do you hear about that? we always knew that there was this back channel, because it is how we release of the american student who was being held by the
north koreans was secured several weeks ago, he returned home in a coma, and then died a few days later. but we did not know was these reports that the back channel communication had continued, and that the diplomats were discussing other things. i guess the big question is, will it lead to talks? i think that is very uncertain at the moment. probably quite unlikely, because the last serious talks between north korea and the us ended in 2012, when north korea launched a long range rocket. and there has been such a breakdown in trust between the two countries since then, there is good to have two be a real demonstration of a willingness to talk, and for the us, that means that north korea has to stop firing missiles, and at the moment, north korea is doing anything but that, actively threatening to release four missiles into the waters near guam.
a lot has to happen before talks can ta ke a lot has to happen before talks can take place, but both sides are said to be open to the idea. what is happening within the administration? senior members of the trump administration are urging diplomacy, stressing that that is how they want to operate in this situation, and then they see another tweet from the president, who is meant to be on holiday, with wind which letters polar opposite. there is a difference in emphasis. other critics are saying it is actually a mixed message. they are pretty much saying the same thing, that diplomacy is the way forward, and military action is a last resort. it is the way they choose to express those sentiments that we are having a difference. donald trump, of course, choosing to go down the road of fire and few day, and now his latest tweet saying that the military is locked and loaded. ——
fire and fury. the us would win any conflict, but the issue is, at what cost? and that is when you have rex tillerson seeing diplomacy is the way forward, saying that it is working, and that that is what will bring north korea to the negotiating table. jane, thank you very much. we will talk more about that story as well after 5:30pm. at least 36 people have died in a head on train crash in the coastal city of alexandria in egypt. two trains collided on the outskirts of the city, after one apparently made a sudden stop because of a fault. a spokesperson for the health ministry has said that more than 100 people are injured. three men have beenjailed for running what's been called "the biggest cannabis factory ever seen in the south of england". the men face prison sentences from five to eight years after the discovery of a vast cannabis production line in an underground former nuclear bunker. our correspondent,
duncan kennedy, reports. hidden beneath the wooded hills of wiltshire, even today the bunker remains a secretive and subterranean world. its old antenna and air vents are the only sign of its existence. but five metres below ground, this cold war sanctuary was transformed into a cannabis factory. this was where 4,000 cannabis plants were found spread over two floors. the men behind it were martin fillery, plamen nguyen, and ross winter, who were jailed today after admitting conspiracy to produce the drug. police say using the nuclear bunker, once owned by the ministry of defence, meant the gang could exploit its secrecy and security. it showed a degree of sophistication. it was innovative, and highly organised. really an ideal location for these activities.
this was the bunker as it was, a secret headquarters for regional government in the event of a nuclear war. 150 officials could survive here for a month. this was the canteen then... and when the police arrived. they found everything from a big—screen tv to a fish tank. and all with the home comforts of an underground world where the underworld could go to ground. the gang even bypassed the mains meter, ripping off £650,000 worth of electricity. all to keep the cannabis growing and drying around the clock. in fact, they thought this facility would provide them with the perfect cover for their illegal activities. why? first of all, you can't see it from the road. it's completely isolated and the complex itself can be locked up.
they managed to keep this place a secret for three years. a place built for a bygone era of global world tensions, it ended up as an industrial scale cannabis production line. but one now consigned, like the cold war itself, to history. duncan kennedy, bbc news, at chilmark in wiltshire. a woman has been taken to hospital after her house was destroyed in sunderland. northern gas networks saying its engineers are at the site, and investigating the explosion as a matter of urgency. four people have been treated for smoke inhalation after a fire on a tube train at oxford circus in central london. the station was evacuated this
morning and trains did not stop there for nearly two hours. transport for london said the fire was caused by an electrical fault. lawyers for eric bellquist have issued a statement strongly denying that their client was involved in the putney bridge jogging assault. mr bellquist was arrested yesterday and released without charge. his lawyers state that they have "irrefutable proof" that he was not in the country when the woman was assaulted on may 5th. time now to take a look at the weather forecast. outside at the moment, little cloudy, a bit of rain, but the weekends looking pretty good. some good news on the weather forecast. at the moment, wejust have good news on the weather forecast. at the moment, we just have to deal with a bit of dampness, but i do not think it is good to be much rain at all. over the next few hours, spots of rain crossing western, central
and south—eastern areas, but here it has not been too bad today. sunshine earlier on, but now clouding over. a fair bit of cloud at the tonight, spots of rain, 15 or 16 celsius in some major towns and cities. tomorrow initially, it may be cloudy. particularly in some eastern and southern areas, but best of the sunshine the further west you are tomorrow. 22 in london, 18 in glasgow. a clear saturday night on the way, which is good, because we wa nt clear the way, which is good, because we want clear skies to catch a goods of the meteor showers this saturday night. and then sunday. lots of sunshine a round. 22 in london, bit fresher in the north. good evening, the time is edging up to 530. the main stories. 11 people from the same family are found guilty of running a slavery ring, following one of the biggest investigations of its kind. the family targeted vulnerable men, victims were kept in what were described as "truly shocking" conditions, some of them for decades. they were subject to threats and
intimidation, some were subject to violence. in essence some lost many, many years of their lives living on the sides. one individual we believe was there 26 years. president trump's issued another warning to north korea, describing the us as "locked and loaded" — the russian foreign minister says the rhetoric from both parties is over the top. the pensions regulator approves a plan by tata steel to safeguard thousands ofjobs, but give workers less generous pensions. and three men have beenjailed for telling an underground nuclear bunker, a former bunker into what has been called the largest cannabis factory in the south of england —— turning an underground bunker into the largest cannabis factory in the
south of england. sport now, here's lizzie greenwood hughes. good evening. the premier league is back tonight, liverpool already battling to keep hold of star player philippe coutinho. the brazilian midfielder responded to the club saying they would not sell him to barcelona by handing in a transfer request. earlier the club denied he had put in their request and had rejected a bid over £90 million from barcelona saying he was not for sale. i can't keep players happy, if you are not happy, you won't be happy because i say, be happy. it's not about this. phil is not available for us. the big issue for me is that he isn't able to play, all the rest, it is not for you, it is between me and all the boys, not just him. with or without philippe
coutinho who is injured for the opening game, the 25th premier league season kicks off in just other two hours' time, the first time it's started on friday as arsenal host 2016 champions leicester city. arsenal have not won title since 2004, it is three years since they won their opening match of the season, something their manager knows must change. the squad looks good, we need to transform the quality of the preparation into points. that is a pragmatic view that what matters is that we win the next game and starred in a strong way, which we did not do last year, and that is what we want to achieve this season. we all see the money spent now in the premier league. it makes it harder every year. but it is the best league in the world because of that and we aim to be as competitive as the next team. the world athletics championship are
going into the final weekend, here's the action from the london stadium, apart from mo farah it has been disappointing so far for britain but there's promising work from the high jumper robbie grabatz. he scared us, he won bronze at the rio olympics but you desperately want a medal here. he says it will be his last chance. qualification was two metres 31 and just six of the man who qualified for the final cleared it, and he did it with his third attempt at that height. just brushing the bar. robbie grabatz. he said he was getting a bit too excitable in his run—up. he told me afterwards what it means to reach the final. run—up. he told me afterwards what it means to reach the finallj run—up. he told me afterwards what it means to reach the final. i made it means to reach the final. i made it stressful for myself and everyone else. i was jumping it stressful for myself and everyone else. i wasjumping off well, technically badly, it's a nice place to be to make the final badly,
technically. qualification is the toughest place for everyone. when you are through you just go for it in the final. bad news for britain in the final. bad news for britain in the 100 metres hurdles, ellyse perry at and tiffany porter both wa nt perry at and tiffany porter both want out, porter double bronze at the moscow world championships four yea rs the moscow world championships four years ago, she trailed in sixth, a quarter of a second slower than her personal best and said she was embarrassed not to qualify for the next round of the 100 metres hurdles. tonight dina asher—smith is in the final of the 200 metres but it will be tough for her to make that top three. it really will be but she has looked supremely confident that you will be running against athletes like daphne shabazz. against athletes like daphne sha bazz. —— against athletes like daphne shabazz. —— she will be running against athletes like dafne schippers. there's also the final of
the long jump, that's a long shot and so is dina asher—smith but this place will go wild if she can do it. i'll be back with sportsday at half past six. kevin kisner is the outright lead at the us pga's final major of the year, halfway through his round his two shots clear of thorbjorn olesen of denmark. mcilroy is still struggling comedies made three bogeys in his last four holes, justin rose still battling to make the cut. live coverage starting on the cut. live coverage starting on the red button and online injust under half an hour. more sport for you at 6:30pm in athletics sportsday. thank you. more now about the increasing nervousness between washington and pyongyang. heightened language between the usa and north korea although we have been reflecting in the last hour that
senior us diplomat has been engaged in talks with north korea behind the scenes. let's talk about this bellicose rhetoric, mark seddon was a speech writer for ban ki—moon when he was secretary general of the united nations and has spent time working in north korea. good evening, mark, thank you for your time. not at all. how concerned are you buy what we have been hearing in the last few days? well, people who live on the korean peninsula, people in china and japan, they will be extremely nervous. it is of course not the first time that the threat of conflict has risen but it is perhaps the first time the language has been so extreme, and that we have to leaders who are unpredictable in many ways. so i
think people will be incredibly nervous. talk of the removal of the regime and the potential destruction of the korean people by the defence secretary, the us defence secretary the other day, the language of kim jong—un threatening to launch missiles to guam, this is extraordinary stuff. there has to be a ratcheting back and that is why they will be a lot of hope invested in what the united nations and china can do particularly behind the scenes, and if it is to what you say about a senior american diplomat thatis about a senior american diplomat that is what north korea has always wanted, they've always wanted direct negotiations with the americans. if thatis negotiations with the americans. if that is beginning that could be a way out of all of this. interesting. you content then that this would be their preferred option? they want discussions? what could america offer them? what would they want from it. north korea runs a hermit state, a deeply repressive
regimented society. but north korean people have wanted the same for decades, ever since the korean war ended. there's still no proper peace agreement with the americans. that's what they want. they want direct negotiations with the american state. if president trump could stop tweeting for a moment he could think about what president nixon did with chairman mao in 1970s. trump is managed, oddly enough, to mobilise the russians and the chinese to support america's resolution, and britain's resolution at the security council the united nations. so he doesn't need to ratchet this app that he could have direct negotiations. the north korean regime wants to be ensured that it will not be invaded. i don't think they have any intention of invading but i don't think... do you think
north korea could send those missiles in the direction of guam? this entire process has been ratcheting up since the military exercises began this year in south korea. it happens every year. usually things calm down. but actually the north korean leadership, kim jong—un and president trump have used the most extreme language and let the situation to get where it is. kim jong—un says, bring me the plan so i can launch missiles towards guam if necessary. towards guam. i think the americans know that the north korean missile systems don't have the guidance systems they need. the incredibly don't take off. they often fall into the sea. that's not the problem, everyone knows they are not likely to get near guam
anywhere. the problem is that if there is a conflict on the korean peninsula, a barrage of artillery from across—the—board, peninsula, a barrage of artillery from across—the—boa rd, the demilitarised zone, it could level the capital of south korea in short time. if there's the possibility of a nuclear conflagration it won't just affect north korea, it will affect all of korea, and china. the sta kes a re affect all of korea, and china. the stakes are so serious that president trump is to step back and allow serious people perhaps like ban ki—moon and the current secretary—general of the united nations, these are the people who need to step forward and get a diplomatic solution that ends this nuclear build—up on the korean peninsula. very interesting to share your thoughts. there is much more i could ask you, i guess we will talk again. mark, thank you for your time. there we were returned to one
of our domestic stories, and the news that the pensions regulator has approved a plan a plan by tata steel to give thousands of its workers in the uk uk less generous pensions to safeguard theirjobs. nicola parish is the executive director of executive director of the pensions regulator she explained why she had approved the restructuring. we know it has been a difficult time for members but this is the best outcome in difficult circumstances. we've given initial approval to a proposal from the uk we've given initial approval to a proposalfrom the uk business we've given initial approval to a proposal from the uk business which will enable certainty for the members, it also means there will be a large cash injection, £550 million going into the pensions scheme which is significantly more than the business would have got, had it gone into insolvency. it also means the pension scheme will get a 33% stake in the uk business going forward, and it also gives the members
choice. some members can now choose either to stay in the pension scheme and that scheme will go into the pensions protection fund which is the industry lifeboat or members can choose to go into a new pension scheme. and for the majority of members, going into that new pensions scheme means they will get at least good benefits as they would receive under the ppf. what might this mean for the future of the port talbot plant in particular? joining me now to talk about what this deal will mean for the future of the plant in south wales is steel industry analyst dr kathryn ringwald. thank you forjoining us. . is this the best deal that could have been struck? i think so. although i wouldn't want to comment on the quality and nature of the pensions scheme it's better than ppf, even though it isn't quite as good as the pension they had and the british steel terms. but certainly in terms of tata's feature strategy this was
certainly the best deal they could have struck. and in terms of the future, a lot of talk about a possible merger with the german rival. will it happen and what other benefits it happening?” rival. will it happen and what other benefits it happening? i think it's likely to happen. i think it is likely to happen. i think it is likely that this pension scheme was a deal—breaker and now that's a result we will see the negotiations which have been going on for more than a year to come to a head fairly soon. than a year to come to a head fairly soon. i think it has advantages because this german company have a foothold inside europe and the eurozone, whereas of course we are due to exit the european union in two yea rs' due to exit the european union in two years' time. it does give us the advantage of having one foot in the eu and one foot out. they have networks and supply chains, that
gives a stronger platform going forward. i meant to ask you about the situation post brexit. what is your assessment of the extent to which tata has to be, not put under pressure but politicians need to make sure that it now follows through on its promised investment because this is how we've got to this point. does the industry have to keep an eye and make sure that investment comes to fruition?” think the government will certainly be watching this carefully, as will the unions. i have always felt tata have been responsible owners of steel—making in the uk. and i am sure that the promise was not made lightly. they have on that previous promises and i'm sure they will do all they can to ensure steel—making is down in the uk. they cannot invest heavily if the business is
losing money as it has in the past. at the moment things are on a much better footing, the at the moment things are on a much betterfooting, the market has recovered, and even though it is due to flatliner globally next year, in europe and in other parts of the world except china demand for steel will increase, so this is a good time to be a bit optimistic about the future, but of course the steel industry is very volatile, so we can't predict it in the long term. thank you for your time, thank you. these are the headlines tonight at quarter to six.