The British steel industry is in crisis. That statement may come as a surprise to non-UK readers, many of whom might well be forgiven for thinking the country’s steel mills had gone the way of other legacy industries such as coal mining and shipbuilding. But Britain produced 12.1 million tonnes of crude steel last year, making the country the fifth-largest producer in the European Union. It won’t produce that much this year. The last couple of months have brought a string of closure announcements, including that of the Redcar plant in Teeside, a symbol of previous against-the-odds survival. British steel mills are struggling with UK-specific problems, particularly high energy costs that are significantly above the European average. Stung into belated action, the government is scrambling to assemble a rescue plan, albeit with one hand tied […]