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Author Topic: Collaborative defence or national suicide?  (Read 2222 times)

Bowwave

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Collaborative defence or national suicide?
« on: September 12, 2012, 07:25:36 PM »

 It has been muted today that the UKs  largest  military defence contractor BAE systems  is in negotiations  to merge  with the pan European defence contractor EADS  to create one of the world largest defence contracting companies . A closer look at the deal sees that the British governmental impute will go leaving BAE with 45% of the shares in the new combined company .Sounds good until you read some of the small print.  Thousands of jobs in the UK depend on contracts either directly or indirectly with BAE. The major shares and a considerable amount of influence are wielded by both the French and German governments. Although other European countries are involved and BAE has links with EADS a full merger will give a more Europe centrist company where the bulk of the money and jobs will be generated. Also for good measure 6% of the shares are owned by the Russians national Vneshtorgbank.  If this merger is given governmental approval we as a nation will depend more than ever in our history on both Germany and France for our defence!
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Shipmate60

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Re: Collaborative defence or national suicide?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2012, 07:53:03 PM »

At the moment as a sole supplier BAe have been ripping off the MoD and therefore the British Taxpayer for years.
Why would that stop if we effectively go European.
Whatever happens the politicians will allow the merger instead of other European Governments playing the "National Security" card.
Britain will sell anything to anybody for a fast buck just look at our infrastructure.

Bob
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dreadnought72

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Re: Collaborative defence or national suicide?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2012, 01:02:08 PM »

...we as a nation will depend more than ever in our history on both Germany and France for our defence!

The UK currently relies on a pile of crackpot states for the oil to move its tanks, planes and ships about.

At least, through membership of the EU, the UK has the ability to discuss defence issues with Germany and France.

Andy
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sailorboy61

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Re: Collaborative defence or national suicide?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2012, 01:07:21 PM »



Britain will sell anything to anybody for a fast buck just look at our infrastructure.
Bob

Don't think that's quite fair - more give away and then buy back later at suitably inflated prices???
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Shipmate60

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Re: Collaborative defence or national suicide?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2012, 04:02:03 PM »

Had a chat today with a mate who works for BAe.
His spin on it is as a hedge against Scottish Independence.
If Scotlang go independent then they will just be like any other EU country bidding for UK contracts.
So it is seen as joining a larger EU company which strengthens their power.

Bob
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Bryan Young

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Re: Collaborative defence or national suicide?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2012, 04:27:25 PM »

There's a huge political downside to this proposed "merger"....(except it is,'t a "merger"). I've always believed that strategically important industries and services should be kept within the country of ownership. The most important of which are "Power" (of all persuations), Water and Defence of the Realm. If BAE becomes only a minority shareholder (40% is being mooted) then this country (meaning the UK) will eventually become emasculated.
I appreciate that although Foreign ownership of all (?) of our Utilities has made the UK a cash cow for the foreign owners, our own Governments (past and possibly present) have been pretty compliant.
This "deal" should never have been allowed to reach the stage it seems to be at today.
I also believe that the fear of Scottish Independence has been overhyped. And I'm equally sure that Mr.Salmond is very aware of this.
The news breaking today also includes Sr.Barroso calling for a totally integrated "Nation" of member States. What happens if and when "we" are allowed a referendum on such membership and the British Public rejects it and votes, as seems likely, to leave the EU? Our goose would be well and truly cooked. Think about it. BY.
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Scribe

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Re: Collaborative defence or national suicide?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2012, 04:39:33 PM »

...all I care about is that my BAESystems pension is safe!

NFMike

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Re: Collaborative defence or national suicide?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2012, 05:36:21 PM »

The problem with the 'loss' of our utilities to foreign ownership isn't really political. As a member of the EU and WTO we have to be 'non-protectionist', so were the government to stop (eg) a French company buying a UK company we would get hammered in other ways. And no, giving the big finger to the rest of the world wouldn't be a great idea, unless you want to be like Iran or North Korea.

I believe the reason for the loss is the same as the banking crisis, ie. half UK business leaders are focussed on short term profit to get a big bonus and comfortable (early) retirement for themselves. They don't give tuppence for the future except their own. The other half are probably like Mr Goodwin - incompetent (allegedly) (as well as greedy (allegedly)). The foreign companies that have grabbed a bargain are probably run in a more long term focussed and commercially astute manner.

The UK has always suffered from a top weight of rich idiots - France got rid of theirs in dramatic style, while the US seems to be developing their own at a pace. I wish there was an easy solution, but I suspect that heads will have to roll - figuratively or literally - before anything changes for the better.

Shipmate60

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Re: Collaborative defence or national suicide?
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2012, 05:55:37 PM »

Mike,
Foreign firms are not allowed to own infrastructure in at least France and Germany as they have used the Sovereign Security card.
Most do except for daft old UK who will sell anything to anyone as long as the price is low enough.

Bob
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pettyofficernick

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Re: Collaborative defence or national suicide?
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2012, 06:03:41 PM »

Let's face it, since the Seventies, successive UK governments have developed a tradition of ' flogging off the family silver' >>:-( >>:-( >>:-(
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Collaborative defence or national suicide?
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2012, 07:39:08 PM »

History suggests that when it comes to the crunch you can never rely upon your 'allies'. They will always put their perceived own interests first.

Colin
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Bowwave

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Re: Collaborative defence or national suicide?
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2012, 09:22:42 PM »

Itís been indicated this evening that BAE would walk away from the proposed merger if  the  German and French governments  failed to agree to remove their political leverage. In the case of the French that political leverage extends to the board room of EADS  with a direct veto on the appointment of key executives  . Another   proviso that the French  look like rejecting is the  BAE  demand that the  new merged company be based in the UK!   
Bowwave
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chingdevil

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Re: Collaborative defence or national suicide?
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2012, 09:34:56 PM »

BAEwould suffer badly if they went along with this take over merger call it what you will, the US would cancel all of its contracts with them as they do not trust the French and the Saudi government would do the same. These two contracts are worth billions, any company loosing them could not survive. So BAE could go leaving EADS as the company supplying our defence needs, whoopee!!!!!!!


Brian
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Bryan Young

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Re: Collaborative defence or national suicide?
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2012, 05:54:06 PM »

I've been trying to understand just why BAE would want this "merger" in the first place.
Surely it can't be as simple as the top guys wanting to make a quick buck.
Another thought postulated today was a merger with Rolls-Royce. Two great companies and possibly the best 2 engineering outfits in the world today (although I have reservations about some parts of BAE). BY.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Collaborative defence or national suicide?
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2012, 06:12:49 PM »

In the Times today it was reported that Rolls Royce were approached but were not interested as the merger would dilute the value of their company which is more profitable than BAE.

Colin
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raflaunches

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Re: Collaborative defence or national suicide?
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2012, 06:21:36 PM »

I was under the impression that like Rolls-Royce (aero engines) that BAe  could not be be merged or be sold outside the UK as its one of the key businesses in the UK.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Collaborative defence or national suicide?
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2012, 07:09:56 PM »

The Government hold a 'Golden Share' which means they could indeed prevent such a merger in the national interest on the basis that the UK needs to retain an independent defence manufacturing capability.  Perhaps more pertinently, if BAE merge with EAD the Americans might take a rather dim view of the possibility of their secret technology being passed on to flaky Europeans and block contracts with BAE which could hit them quite hard. The US defence budget is likely to shrink considerably in the near future and foreign contracts are likely to be first in the firing line if suitable excuses can be contrived.

Unfortunately the present government shows little understanding of the basics of national defence, seeing things from a purely financial viewpoint, so the omens are not good. It would appear that Eton College have been remiss in inculculating their pupils with the lessons of military history....

Colin
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