That was the message delivered to MPs at a special Parliamentary breakfast briefing on Wednesday (December 11) by motoring expert and fuel campaigner Quentin Willson.

Quentin was speaking on behalf of ALFED, the trade association which represents UK aluminium manufacturers and suppliers.

At present 20,000 people are employed in aluminium manufacturing and supply in Britain, generating a £3.2billion annual turnover. As the most abundant metal on Earth, 75 per cent of aluminium ever made is still in use today.

He told Parliamentarians: “We have the chance to develop a fantastic industry in aluminium here in the UK which would create thousands of new jobs.

“The country already leads the world in low emission technology but we should also be leading in aluminium development, because that is how we are going to make vehicles even more environmentally-friendly, fuel efficient and recyclable.

“What we really need now is the Government to champion aluminium development and acceptance in the UK as the modern automotive metal. It can do that by looking at tax benefits supporting research and development and reducing scrap exports to protect the British resource.”

ALFED CEO Will Savage said the sector was within reach of a bright future due to the explosion in demand in the automotive industry and other sectors.

But he warned: “We really need government to get behind British aluminium manufacturers and suppliers.

“Since 2007 we have lost 85% of our primary production capacity and what remains is not being helped by EU rules which place smelters inside the union at an 11% cost disadvantage compared to those outside.”

A recent report by the Centre for European Policy Studies said plants fully exposed to EU climate and energy policies have seen an 11% increase in production costs, making them the least competitive globally.

Will added: “In order to sustain and grow our industry, we need a supply of qualified technicians, a review of energy taxation, secure energy supplies and better incentives to divert scrap exports to UK markets.”