Bitter truth

A few weeks ago, Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, insisted the Labour Government would "mount a huge opposition to a Kraft takeover of Cadbury". Mandelson knew that because of former Labour minister Stephen Byers' policy of "light touch regulation" there was nothing to be done – but as usual with Labour, it sounded good.

Instead of opposition we find that the mostly taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland funded Kraft's takeover to the tune of more than 7 billion. This from a bank that is reluctant to lend to British businesses desperately trying to protect jobs.

The Kraft takeover will eventually and inevitably lead to the loss of jobs in Birmingham, an area which already has the highest unemployment in Britain following Labour's ineptitude in maintaining car production there. Birmingham's crime, like Scotland's, is in not being London.


Rosemill Court

Dunfermline, Fife

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Cadbury is the latest British company to go into foreign ownership. As so many times before, we hear promises of no job losses from the foreign company and government assurances of support for British workers.

If past experience is anything to go by, within a few years, if not sooner, the British workforce will be run down until the Cadbury factories in the UK are closed.

We cannot go on allowing our home-grown manufacturing to be transferred abroad in this way.

Our government should defy the EU and insist on a clause in such takeover agreements guaranteeing British jobs in companies being taken over for as long as the foreign parent companies exist.

Kraft should not be allowed to cut British jobs in Cadbury or close British factories unless the equivalent number of jobs are also lost in American and other foreign branches of the firm.

Foreign firms would be far less keen to make takeover bids for British companies if they knew such conditions would be part of the deal.


Mount Tabor Avenue