“Government should not be in the business of picking winners and planning industry but neither should it be this permissive," said the Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor.
Commenting on Kraft’s decision to close Cadbury’s Somerdale factory, Vince Cable said:
“Government should not be in the business of picking winners and planning industry but neither should it be this permissive.
“This case is a very good example of a Government indirectly helping a takeover, through the Royal Bank of Scotland which is publicly owned, and abdicating all responsibility.
“The pendulum has swung far too far and the Liberal Democrats believe that there is a legitimate role for Government, acting in the wider public interest and in the interest of competition, to make sure that damaging takeovers do not take place.
“Lord Mandelson talked tough on the takeover but all opposition just melted away.
“Governments used to have a public interest test in takeover cases but this was thrown away in 2002. There is now a very strong case for going back to a public interest test for takeovers.”