The sale of a key part of the UK’s energy infrastructure should be halted, according to the GMB union. Initial bids were due by Friday night for National Grid’s gas distribution arm, which supplies millions of homes. However, the union called on PM Theresa May to intervene and put the sale on hold until new safeguards covering the sale of national assets are introduced. Foreign bidders are said to be eyeing the business, which analysts believe could be worth £11bn. Potential buyers are thought to include a Chinese consortium and one of Asia’s richest businessmen. The sale comes as the government seeks to tighten up rules surrounding foreign takeovers of critical infrastructure, which will include a review of the Enterprise Act. But the GMB says the sale should now be stopped. The government’s plan for new takeover safeguards emerged last week when it gave the green light to Hinkley Point C, the first new nuclear plant in the UK for a generation. China’s CGN will provide around a third of the funding for the £18bn project, with the rest coming from the French energy giant EDF. But in return the Chinese want to build their own reactor technology at Bradwell in Essex, giving their nuclear industry a foothold in the West. The government says that it will take a “special share” in future nuclear projects to prevent stakes being sold without consent.
BBC 24th Sept 2016 read more »