Image: Tata Steel Image: Tata Steel

The Indian owners of Tata Steel in the UK are concerned that the UK's vote to leave the EU could put its sale of the company at risk.

A deal to offload the business hinges on changes to its pension scheme, which currently has a deficit of around £485 million. But Tata is concerned that political uncertainty could prevent those changes from happening.

The government said a consultation on the matter has already closed, and it will respond in due course. But with full focus on choosing a new Prime Minister, the Labour leadership challenge and assessing how the UK will leave the EU, it is likely that the government's attention could be elsewhere.

Buyers are not keen to take on the pension scheme, which hundreds of thousands of people are reliant upon.

"It's clearly an incredibly busy time in UK politics," a source close to the business told the BBC.

"Nevertheless, the company still hopes that the hundreds of thousands of people in Britain who are dependent on a steel pension will not be left worse off by the current political leadership uncertainties."

The two political figures at the head of efforts to find a solution to the issues are not likely to see it as a priority in the coming weeks. The consultation on the pension scheme is being led by the Department for Work and Pensions, headed by Stephen Crabb, who has made himself a candidate in the Tory leadership race. Another man heavily involved in the Tata Steel crisis is business secretary Sajid Javid, who is supporting Mr Crabb's nomination with a view to becoming Chancellor.