Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Now David Davis fires a broadside at BAE's merger with warning over British jobs

  • Merger has raised fears that jobs may be shifted overseas
  • Government has a 'golden share' that it can use to block the deal

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    A senior Tory has warned that controversial plans to merge defence giant BAE with a European rival would lead to the loss of a ‘massively important British asset’ and threaten jobs.

    David Davis’s intervention comes amid mounting criticism of the merger with EADS, which would create the largest arms firm in the world.

    Mr Davis, whose constituency is near BAE Systems’s Brough plant in Yorkshire, said: ‘With strong French and German government interest in EADS, there is a risk the British factories will come to be seen as peripheral to the core business of the merged company, with all the threats to employment that that involves.

    ‘[The deal] raises serious concerns both in terms of competition and strategic national interest. Suggestions this could be resolved before the end of the year strike me as wildly optimistic.

    ‘Even if EADS was willing to give undertakings as to preserving these jobs, we know from past experience of such mergers these never last in the long run.’ The Government has a‘golden share’ in BAE, which it can use to block the merger on a temporary basis.
    Defence giant: BAE employs 35,000 workers across the UK
    Defence giant: BAE employs 35,000 workers across the UK
    Other Tory MPs who have expressed concern about the deal include Ben Wallace, who yesterday led a private meeting in Westminster between the two companies and MPs.
    After the meeting, Mr Wallace said he was concerned there were no guarantees jobs would be protected in Britain.

    The merger has raised fears the new company, which will be 60 per cent owned by existing EADS shareholders, would shift jobs overseas.

    Well-placed sources say three of BAE’s top five shareholders, including its largest investor Invesco with 13 per cent of the company, were not in favour of the merger. That would be sufficient to block the deal, regardless of political intervention.
    The powerful company builds everything from fighter jets to nuclear submarines
    The powerful company builds everything from fighter jets to nuclear submarines
    Tory MP Julian Brazier, a member of the defence select committee, warned that the French government would become the dominant force in the merged group. He added: ‘If it went through it would wreck our relationship with America.’

    BAE is building the new generation of Trident nuclear missiles and the Astute class nuclear-powered submarine and says key projects would be ‘ringfenced’.

    The company has a strong presence in the US, where the company is a key supplier to the big-budget F-35 stealth fighter jet programme.

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    1 comment:

    1. If you quote from the daily mail, it is unlikely to be judged positive.
      Realistically, the sustainability of this and many other industries are better served by looking outward and accept the fact that business these days is Global.
      Tory prominent Digby Jones is a man whose views I usually agree with - Realistic and Business minded. No room for patriotic sentiment.