Posted Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, at 9:39 AM
Notwithstanding a great deal of constructive and professional engagement with the respective governments over recent weeks, it has become clear that the interests of the parties' government stakeholders cannot be adequately reconciled with each other or with the objectives that BAE Systems and EADS established for the merger. BAE Systems and EADS have therefore decided it is in the best interests of their companies and shareholders to terminate the discussions to focus on delivering their respective strategies.
That's an interesting window on where the politics of the European Union are. BAE is basically a UK "national champion" industrial company. A merged BAE/EADS entity would be a very natural European Union "national champion" if you think of the European Union as a superstate. But it's not a superstate. And the aspects of the EU that are growing more superstate-like in recent years are the ones that specifically exclude the U.K. and pertain exclusively to the eurozone. And for all the U.K.'s economic problems right now, there can't be many people left who are still regretting that they didn't sign up for the euro in the 90s.