Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): I would like the Secretary of State to clarify the legal position, because it seems to me that, under the law the previous Government introduced, Ministers were going to stay out of all these decisions, which would be trusted to an independent body; and that, under the 2004 European Union merger regulation that they signed up to, this is clearly a concentration that falls to be determined by Brussels regulation, not by this elected House of Commons. I therefore find it very surprising that the Opposition are demanding the Secretary of State to intervene, when he might end up in an illegal position if he tried to do so.
The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (Vince Cable): It is precisely because of the legal position that I have been studiously neutral on this matter. It is fair to say that there are elements of ambiguity—it is not absolutely clear—but the main position is exactly as the right hon. Gentleman described it: under the legislation we inherited from the Labour party, Ministers do not engage with decisions except in three very specific areas of public interest.