Valley MP’s relief at BAE merger collapse

Nigel Evans MP
Nigel Evans MP

news that the boards of BAE Systems and EADS have decided not to push ahead with a proposed merger of the two companies has been welcomed by Nigel Evans, MP for Ribble Valley and Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.

Speaking from Westminster, Mr Evans said: “I was pleased to learn that the proposed merger has been shelved. BAE employs a great number of people in my constituency and my concern was that a merger could cost jobs as a new merged company sought to cut costs.

“My other concern was what impact the merger could have on business which BAE currently enjoys – particularly with the United States of America. It is clear that a sticking point in these negotiations was what influence the French and German governments would have in the running of a merged company.

“Rightly the UK and the US sought assurances that the French and German stakes in the company would be low enough that the business’s agenda would not be dictated from Paris and Berlin. If the merger had gone ahead without these reassurances then the US could well have pulled out of its commitments with BAE. That would also have been disastrous for jobs in Lancashire and up and down the country.

Mr Evans stressed: “Mergers need to have focus and purpose. They should not merely be designed to make a few people a lot of money. I am happy to look at merger proposals but I want to know why they are necessary, what benefits they offer to the company and how they are good for the UK as a whole. This merger proposal asked more questions than it answered and I am glad it has been abandoned.”