"We have benefited enormously from foreign companies like Tata coming in and turning around our car industry or Nissan creating its cars in the north east of England," he said. "AstraZeneca itself, of course, is a British company that grew by taking over foreign companies."
Mr Read admitted there would be cuts in some parts of the two companies, but said this would be good for society as well as shareholders by increasing efficiency.
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"Governments are all around the world pressurising the industry to produce products of higher value and with more productivity, at lower cost," he said. "One way of doing that is to consolidate and is to take out overlapping functions."
Political scrutiny of the proposed deal has spread across the Atlantic in recent days with some Democrats on Capitol Hill critical of Pfizer's plan to shift its tax domicile to the U.K. to escape higher rates in the U.S.
Mr Read said tax and cost savings resulting from the merger would allow the company to invest more in science.
Mr Osborne told the BBC that the U.K.'s so-called patent box tax break that Pfizer has cited as an incentive for buying AstraZeneca would only benefit the U.S. company if it was "generating real intellectual activity in the UK".
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AstraZeneca, Britain's second-biggest pharmaceuticals company, has so far refused to enter talks over what would be the biggest foreign takeover in U.K. history.
However, there is widespread expectation among investors that Pfizer will return with an improvement on its latest £50-per-share cash and stock proposal before the May 26 deadline for it to make a firm bid.
Mr Read said the deal would allow AstraZeneca shareholders to "get an immediate benefit from the cash that we would pay them, it allows them to participate in a very strong combined company with great cash flows and great portfolio, and it allows a very efficient allocation of capital by my company."
Dismissing concern from AstraZeneca over the risks involved in such a big takeover, Mr Read said he thought it would be "easy" to integrate the companies' research operations.
His statement came a day after Pfizer announced a research partnership with several top U.K. universities to hunt for cures to rare diseases. The tie-up, with scientists from Cambridge university, Imperial College London, King's College London, Queen Mary University London, University College London and Oxford university, was portrayed by Pfizer as further evidence of its commitment to U.K. science.