Last updated: February 17. 2013 8:25AM - 32 Views

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(AP) Britain's defense secretary has warned that the French and German governments must reduce their stakes in defense company EADS for the U.K. to allow a proposed merger with BAE Systems to go ahead.

Philip Hammond says Britain will veto the mega merger of the aeronautics and defense companies if this requirement wasn't satisfied.

In a BBC interview Sunday, Hammond said it was "necessary to reduce that stake below the level at which it can control or direct the way the company acts."

On Friday, 45 British lawmakers wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron, warning that the deal would hand control of British defense industry to a company that would not safeguard the country's interests.

The firms have until Wednesday to say whether they want to continue with the talks.

Associated Press
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