The UK PLC market is going "under the hammer" due to the fall in sterling and relatively liberal takeover rules in the UK. A government that is promoting free trade post Brexit is now threatening to intervene in the free market economy and adopt a "UK First" policy, mimicking the new administration in Washington.
Does the government have a choice? Not if it wants to be popular and offer short term protection to the UK's core sectors like steel and automotive.
This is a drastic change in position from previous conservative policy in the chemicals, energy and technology sectors, which are largely controlled by overseas companies. The power of popularism and the risk of losing business in Britain is driving interventionist policies akin to 70s eastern European government controlled economy. This can only be resolved upon exiting the EU.
This is very dangerous, and in the long run could lead to a less competitive country.
In truth, it shouldn't matter who owns UK PLCs as long the UK is seen as a good destination for operations and investment. It must not become a small island off the coast of the EU. If it does, it would not be a question of who owns UK PLC but instead will anyone want to own UK PLC?
UK to draw up response to foreign takeovers after failed Unilever bid