BIRMINGHAM (Reuters) - The proposed $45 billion merger between EADS and BAE Systems must ensure British security and jobs are preserved, finance minister George Osborne said on Sunday, just three days before a deadline for detailing the deal.
Tensions over the supermerger have spilled into the open in recent days as France, Britain and Germany jockey over the role of the state in what would be the world's largest aerospace and arms group.
"Our approach to this has been to make it very clear that our priorities are of course the national security of the United Kingdom, second: jobs and investment in the UK," finance minister George Osborne told Sky television.
"Those are the tests against which we are judging the proposal brought to us by these two companies," Osborne said.
EADS and BAE announced plans for a merger last month, but their efforts have become snagged on differences over control between France and Germany, while there are also political concerns about jobs.
A person familiar with the negotiations said one of the points in dispute was where the new group would be based.
The German government would like an important part of the company, or indeed possibly its headquarters, to be based in Germany, the source said, adding: "It's like a round of collective bargaining".
Time is running out before a UK regulatory deadline of October 10 for a blueprint of the deal, which affects national security interests on both sides of the Atlantic.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, Additional Reporting by Gernot Heller, Editing by Matt Falloon and Mark Potter)
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