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An engineer walks along stretch of National Grid gas pipeline near Skipton in North Yorkshire [Image: Nigel Roddis/Reuters].

An engineer walks along stretch of National Grid gas pipeline near Skipton in North Yorkshire [Image: Nigel Roddis/Reuters].

Perhaps when Nigel Farage appears on the BBC’s Question Time this evening, someone will have the intelligence to ask him how he feels about rich foreigners buying British assets and taking the profits abroad.

Undoubtedly, shareholders in the UK’s National Grid will be delighted to pocket the £4 billion they are making from the sale of the gas pipe network to Australia, Qatar and China.

How happy will their customers feel?

The sale means that what was once a public asset is now in the hands of two foreign states and one foreign multinational investment bank.

They won’t be interested in investing in the network.

They won’t want to cut bills.

They’ll want to maximise profits.

This is further proof that Conservative privatisation policies are impoverishing the UK by selling off everything we own to foreigners.

It seems strange that being ripped off by rich foreigners is seen as entirely acceptable, while the possibility of poor foreigners coming here to look for work has been painted as an insult to our national pride.

What will Mr Farage, who has been known to advocate NHS privatisation, have to say about it?

National Grid has agreed to sell a majority stake in its gas pipe network to a team of investors in a deal valuing the division at about £13.8bn.

The UK’s power network operator said it would sell a 61% shareholding in the gas pipe arm to a consortium led by Australian investment bank Macquarie, including backing from Qatari and Chinese state investors.

National Grid will return £4bn to shareholders after the deal, and it will make a voluntary payment of £150m to the benefit of British energy consumers.

The auction for the gas network has been running for at least a year, and the Macquarie consortium fought off a raft of competitors including a team led by Chinese investors.

Source: National Grid sells majority stake in gas division in £13.8bn deal | Business | The Guardian

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