For the Unilever CEO to suggest the british government should be used to protect its independence is a suggestion that would have be unheard of only a few years ago

For the uk government to reply saying they will bring out proposals to cover issues like the Kraft approach to Unilever is equally unbelievable 

However we are seeing government after government moving away from a liberal market  approach to introducing protectionist rules 

We have CFIUS in the states. We have ministry of economy approvals in France .We have foreign controls restrictions in south africa

For years Germany and japan protected their industry by cross holdings .The UK was the last bastion of a free market. However as it prepares to issue the article 50 notice to leave the EU it alos preparing its own proposals on restricting shareholders to make the decisions on mergers and acquistions

Never mind concerns on trade barriers being increased via new tariffs and the trump border tax we will soon be in a position whereby the first thing a bidder must ask is for a list of governmental consents required and which authorites in which jurisdictions are likely to be difficult before they even starting to consider an acquistion