OS is right. HSAL had done more VG work (AW.59/DH.127/Fo.147/HS.1170B/1171) than (non-Wallis) BAC, who had only modest study funds while busy on TSR.2. That cancellation left BAC Military Aircraft with zilch. MoA put them into AFVG post-TSR.2, and nominated them, not HSAL, for the Hunter/Gnat replacement (to be Jaguar; neither won a normal tender process), all to support them for the Saudi Magic Carpet deal. That was not just about selling Lightnings &tc., but about Defence burden-sharing East of Suez. BAC had no attributes that HSAL did not have...except an Air Defence platform, which US DoD supported as F-111K offset (R.Howe, Weapons, Sphere,1981: D.Healey: "we could not have made the bid, let alone won, without US assistance)".
The R&D pace of VG was driven by seals, pivot strength...mundane fabrication, solved by electron beam welding (a Cincinatti Milacron machine) in titanium. It was the licence of Grumman's F-111B centre-box that put MBB in the lead on NKF-75, thus MRCA. An IPR fee was paid to Grumman for its Tornado use.