I have been and I am still very critical of the British Government's lack of industrial strategy. That said, I have to recognise that the British Establishment is a master at survival. Principles do not come into it I am afraid, it's all about the ability to make dispassionate decisions at the right time in history. Whether we like it or not, China is the superpower of the near future, and we have to strive to have very good relations with them. Opening the UK market to Chinese investment like this serves this purpose and helps the UK economy as well.
Such decision is of course not mutually exclusive with having an industrial strategy to help indigenous British firms. That, of course, we keep on dreaming of...
You are saying we did something right way back when!
But the term "practical" is close to "pragmatic" which is not too-far from "unprincipled"
When one's government is praised for being "practical" it makes one pause for thought.
I do not think it's just about the current economic crisis, Peter. The UK has made a calculated long term decision to welcome Chinese, Indian and other emerging economies' investments over a decade ago, knowing that the balance of wealth is shifting eastwards. Other countries will come to the same conclusion...eventually.