Friday, April 08, 2005

Rover

I think I'm more or less with Tim Worstall on this one.

However, in late February, we did draw attention to a report in The Times which questioned whether the UK government could support the Rover-Shanghai Motors deal without falling foul of EU state aid rules, and observed that whatever deal was made, it would have to be approved by the EU commission.

It seems to us that the role of the commission and EU law in general might have paid a much larger part in the demise of Rover than is acknowledged.

Also, although one would expect the media to focus on the demise of the last British volume car producer, we still remain puzzled as to why so little attention was paid to the decision by the government to buy German Trucks for the British Army.

Not only did this reduce the employment prospects for British workers – many of whom might have been based in the Midlands – but it means that the UK has completely abandoned the military truck manufacturing industry. Not least, that also means that we have foregone any export opportunities our participation in the industry might have brought.

As always, it seems, concerns are very selective.

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