Farage Warns Chinese Interests Lining up for ‘Fire Sale’ of UK Businesses

HULL, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 14: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage speaks during a Brexit Party general election campaign tour at Hull Ionians Rugby Union Football Club on November 14, 2019 in Hull, United Kingdom. Nigel Farage has previously announced that his party will not stand in 317 seats won …
Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has warned that Chinese interests are lining up to take advantage of the coronavirus crisis by buying “vast swathes of our strategic and manufacturing industries”.

“What is happening right now is that Chinese companies and Chinese money are lining up for what they expect to be a ‘fire sale’ of British businesses,” Mr Farage said during a Facebook live stream on Wednesday.

Mentioning that Germany has put into law protections for German companies against foreign takeover during the coronavirus crisis, he continued: “I fear, we’re going to allow China in to buy up vast swathes of our strategic and manufacturing industries and it just can’t be allowed.

“The problem is is the same mob that sold us out to Brussels are now happy to sell out our sovereignty once again to China and this needs a much bigger, higher, level of debate.”

Last month, Chinese firm Jingye Group bought out British Steel. Former Prime Minister David Cameron and former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne allowed Chinese state-run companies to invest in British nuclear power plants.

Mr Farage said: “For some reason, many of our civil servants, politicians, and Big Business figures seem to be in love with the despicable, barbarous regime who don’t just murder thousands of their own people every year, but put hundreds of thousands in camps… where they’re being re-educated away from their faith to support the Chinese Communist Party.

“It’s not a nice regime. We know they steal intellectual property and we know they have designs to effectively become the global superpower, to take over the world in their own way.”

The Brexit Party leader’s remarks come as MPs have launched an emergency House of Commons inquiry into the possibility of Chinese companies stripping the assets of British firms caught up in the pandemic crisis, particularly the high-tech companies which are fundamental to the UK’s economy.

Led by Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee Tom Tugendhat, the inquiry would look into how the Foreign Office could take an active role in blocking Chinese asset-stripping.

The investigation was provoked by the aborted boardroom coup of UK chip designer Imagination Technologies by associates of Chinese government-backed China Reform Holdings. The move was delayed after culture secretary Oliver Dowden intervened.

With the UK and other Western nations turning to China for vaccines, masks, and ventilators, Mr Farage said last month that the coronavirus pandemic had exposed the developed world’s dependence on China in its supply chains.

“The West’s supply chains have become too dependent on China,” the Brexit Party said, adding: “To see China now exploiting a crisis that they have caused to spread their influence further and deeper into Europe should send a chill down our spines.”

This week, he warned that accepting materials from China could come at the price of allowing the Beijing-backed Huawei access to Britain’s 5G network.

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