Tell China to get their hands off! Kwarteng told to block takeover of UK microchip factory

Tell China to get their hands off! Kwarteng told to block takeover of UK microchip factory

USA News

China faces losing business in Europe over Ukraine stance says expert

Sign up for our news briefing, including a daily special Russia-Ukraine edition

Invalid email

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Ministers are understood to have called for Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to intervene and block the sale amid a Cabinet split over the issue.

Newport Wafer Fab, the UK’s largest semiconductor factory, was sold last year to Nexperia, a Dutch company owned byWingtech.

The £63million deal caused a huge uproar from MPs over growing concerns of Beijing’s acquisitions of Western innovative firms, leading to the Government’s national security adviser, Sir Stephen Lovegrove, launching an investigation into the case.

An initial review by the deputy national security adviser found last year that there was no case for intervention as the Welsh firm used technology already available in China.

But Sir Stephen was asked to conduct a further assessment of whether the sale should be blocked under the National Security and Investment Act, which is a post-Brexit act that gives ministers the power to intervene in foreign takeovers to protect national security.

Xi Jinping

China’s president Xi Jinping (Image: Getty)

microchip

Microchips are a critical component of electronic devices, including smartphones (Image: Getty)

He has since revealed he believes there is no risk to the country’s security and recommended against blocking the deal.

It comes after Mr Johnson promised to “back” British businesses and said the decision to leave the EU would make it “faster and easier” for ministers to intervene and protect jobs in struggling UK-based firms.

The decision has caused a backlash online from MPs and members of the public.

Express.co.uk reader Al90 said: “We just don’t learn, we keep selling our businesses to foreign nations. Why are we so afraid to back British companies?”

READ MORE: Boris Johnson’s hopes of post-Brexit US-UK trade agreement dashed

STOP the Chinese takeover of UKs biggest computer chip plant. Ministers must say no to protect our strategic interests. https://t.co/k5OIpPoZrr

— Richard Tice (@TiceRichard) April 2, 2022

BingBangBosh criticised the government’s decision, saying: “60% of the gas national grid sold off to an Australian vulture fund too.

“Everything is for sale with the Tories.”

Similarly, Reform Party leader urged the Government to stop “the Chinese takeover of the UK’s biggest computer chip plant”.

Writing on Twitter, he said: “Ministers must say no to protect our strategic interests”.

DON’T MISS: 
Boris hands over Welsh microchip factory to China in controversialsale 
Ben Habib answers your Brexit questions HERE [COMMENT]
‘Revenge!’ Brexiteer warns EU thwarting talks to make UK pay ‘price’ [ANALYSIS]

Kwarteng is under pressure to block a Chinese takeover of Britain’s largest microchip factory. For pity’s sake can he even hesitate? Is this a Tory Government?

— Alan Sked (@profsked) April 2, 2022

Professor Alan Sked, of the London School of Economics, tweeted: “Kwarteng is under pressure to block a Chinese takeover of Britain’s largest microchip factory. For pity’s sake can he even hesitate? Is this a Tory Government?”

Readers expressed their frustrations with the government selling British firms to other countries, with one reader, Voice_of_sanity, writing: “Why are people surprised? The Tories sell anything that isn’t nailed down! And if it is nailed down they try and sell the nails too!”

Another reader said: “If it happens the plant will be stripped bare and all the gear will end up in China. Well done Boris, not.”

Similarly, Maine Yankee wrote: “China should be barred from buying any business in the west let alone something vital to security.”

Read More