EU restrictions on AstraZeneca expose farcical state of British politics

Published May 09, 2014

The entire debate on the Pfizer/AstraZeneca merger has exposed the "farcical state of British politics" according to UKIP Leader Nigel Farage.

"As I pointed out on Question Time last night, the elephant in the room has been the fact that when it comes to mergers like these, the government no longer has control. The power now lies with the European Commission.

UKIP's Head of Policy Unit Tim Aker said: "The facts are clear: EU regulation 139/2004 makes it plain that all mergers with what they call a 'community dimension' must be approved by the European Commission.

"The Swedish Finance Minister this week warned David Cameron about Pfizer that the company failed to honour promises made on research jobs when it bought Swedish drug maker Pharmacia in 2002, and so there is some cause for concern here.

"Britain's biggest medical research foundation has also said today that it has major concerns over the takeover and Pfizer's commitment to investment in Britain.

"Yet Vince Cable has said in the House of Commons this week that the Ministers were not engaging in this decision as it did not fall under the jurisdiction of our own national Parliament.

In response to a question on the issue, Vince Cable admitted on May 6th that 'Ministers do not engage with decisions' of this nature due to a 2004 European Union merger regulation.

"Once again we find that far from running our own country and our own affairs, the establishment parties skirt around with the little power the European Union has left the British Parliament with. They might seek to skirt around the truth, but we in UKIP will not: we want our democracy back."

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