Belfast Telegraph

Chancellor Osborne defends the £757m sale of Eurostar

By Staff Reporter

The Government has been warned that the "British" is fast disappearing from British industry following the sale of its stake in cross-Channel rail giant Eurostar.

Chancellor George Osborne hailed the £757m agreement to sell the Government's stake to a Canadian-led consortium as a "fantastic deal for UK taxpayers", but critics accused him of "selling off the family silver" for short-term gain.

The Treasury said the money was "significantly ahead" of the price expected when it began inviting offers last October.

But watchdog Passenger Focus said customers cared more about punctuality than who owns train companies.

Meanwhile, rail unions tore into the coalition, accusing it of a "pre-election act of public sector destruction".

The sale also fuelled controversy over ownership of famous British products after previous sales including UK chocolate favourite Cadbury to an American company and once-British cars being built by carmakers based in countries such as Japan, India and Germany.

Belfast Telegraph