February 2019 (digital issue)

I flew out of Heathrow’s Terminal Five on a Saturday evening bound for New Delhi. I hadn’t travelled to India for a long time, 35 years to be precise, and when I got there I felt a great sense of relief; it was  so nice to be away from the UK and away from Northern Europe as a whole. India is a whole new ball game and I knew it was unlikely that I would stumble across a Claire’s Accessories or some other global brand name. Alright, I did spot a Subway not far from my hotel, but that was about it. Everything is different in India, there are auto rickshaws, bicycle rickshaws, bullock carts, monkeys, sunshine, happy people – and great food, and I embraced the lot.

I had a conference to attend and a meeting the following day, but the meeting was cancelled, giving me time to visit the Red Fort. In between I enjoyed just being away from English newspapers and knife crime and Brexit and all the other negative elements of living in the United Kingdom. I didn’t have to listen to the awful Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn and, most of all, I didn’t have to pay any attention to the lunacy of Jacob Rees-Mogg or Boris Johnson.

I’ll nail my colours to the mast right now: I voted remain in the referendum. I’m not bitter about it, but I’m fed up with it. I don’t want to hear about the backstop or ‘no deal’ and I don’t want to listen to “Brexiteers” moaning about free movement and saying ‘let’s make Great Britain Great Again’. Was it ever great? The stiff upper lip? The class system? The royal family? No, of course it wasn't.

In India I was free of all this rubbish. Outside of business, all I had to think about was getting down for dinner around 8pm and taking maximum advantage of the all-you-can-eat buffet – and oh, did I take advantage! Two helpings every night and the same at breakfast time. And forget about ‘Delhi Belly’, it never happened.

But if you’re British, like I am, there’s no escaping the boredom of Brexit, although the truth of the matter is simple: I should have stayed away from the hotel’s business centre. Checking my email was not a good idea if I wanted to escape the misery that is the United Kingdom. But like Gordon Jackson boarding a train in The Great Escape and inadvertantly saying ‘thank you’ in English when he was wished good luck, I clicked on an email from UK Steel – ‘there are no benefits to be had from Brexit’ for the UK steel industry, said Gareth Stace, director-general of UK Steel. You can run, I thought, but you can’t hide.

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February 2019 (digital issue) highlights

2 Leader by Matthew Moggridge

4 News round-up – the latest global steel news

10 China update – China shores up steel consumption as peak production looms

14 3D printing – Liberty's powdered metal initiative

16 Cyber security – Leading by example

21 Ironmaking – Re-hydrated burnt-lime improves sinter

26 Robotics – Less handling thanks to robotics

32 Rolling – Solutions for vertical roll stands

42 Innovations – The latest new products and contracts news