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We must hold onto our world-leading firms

Published 21/07/2016

Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor
Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor

The proposed takeover of ARM - the UK's only world-leading hi-tech electronics company - by SoftBank of Japan (Business Telegraph, July 19) is the first chance to test Theresa May's claim that she opposes the takeover of strategic British companies.

In a speech made just over a week ago, she was totally unambiguous that she opposed foreign companies buying our strategically important businesses.

Yet, just days later, she has welcomed the takeover of ARM by SoftBank, valued at around £24bn.

No other UK tech company has ARM's reach, or reputation. It is at the heart of Cambridge's hi-tech research and manufacturing cluster, supporting jobs and knowledge well beyond the 3,000-plus it directly employs there.

What's more, one very important reason why the UK is economically fragile post-Brexit is our unsustainably large current account deficit which is due - in part - to decades of selling off our prized industrial assets to other parts of the world.

If the Government simply waves through a stream of opportunistic takeovers of our great companies while sterling is through the floor, our capacity to ever again pay our way in the world will be fundamentally holed below the waterline.


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