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Vincent BrophySomeone, somewhere probably once said that the aim of argument should not be victory, but progress. Unfortunately the draft European Union (EU) takeover bids directive has engendered sometimes bitter argument and protracted discussions, but little or no progress. The European Commission’s (EC’s) draft has still not found agreement among the member states in Council. The prospect of them advancing the key issues in the near future now seem bleak.

In practical terms, the EU adventure is about the creation of a single market. Most would agree that it is intrinsic to that goal to facilitate cross-border investment, mergers and acquisitions.

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