Trade, Development, and Immigration

May’s economic nationalism a threat to prosperity


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Reaction to the announcement that all foreign takeover bids will be assessed

Commenting on the news that Theresa May has announced all foreign takeover bids will be assessed to determine whether they are in the national interest, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs has said:

“The concept of a foreign takeover is largely meaningless in the modern world. The idea that the Prime Minister or the Secretary of State for BEIS should be determining what takeovers can occur based on the nationality of companies or owners and some undefined concept of the ‘national interest’ is absurd. It’s unclear why we should think of a foreign takeover differently from foreign competition putting an existing UK company out of business.

“The UK should be trumpeting the case for openness and free trade. Recent support for an industrial strategy, and now apparent opposition to foreign takeovers suggest a possible return to the economic planning that was so damaging in the 1970s. It needs to be revisited if Britain is to thrive in a post-Brexit world.”

Notes to editors: 

To arrange an interview please contact Nerissa Chesterfield, Communications Officer: [email protected] or 020 7799 8920 or 07791 390 268

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.



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