Two police forces which faced an enforced merger have welcomed the news that it now seems unlikely to happen.
Surrey Police has campaigned to be left as a stand-alone force
Sussex Police Authority said it was delighted the government had seen sense after Prime Minister Tony Blair said forced mergers would not be sensible.
Earlier, the Home Office's Tony McNulty said the "definitive answer" to whether police mergers would happen was "no".
Surrey Police said better government funding was the main issue, not the structure of the force.
Mr Blair's assurance came during Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons, although he said mergers were not "off the agenda".
The two police authorities were told of the merger plans by former Home Secretary Charles Clarke in March.
They objected to the proposal, saying it would be too expensive to amalgamate them.
Mr McNulty was asked for a clear answer on Wednesday by Sussex Police Authority's John Godfrey.
The Home Office minister replied "enforced mergers are not at this stage on the agenda".
Chief Constable Joe Edwards has led Sussex Police for five months
Peter Jones, chairman of the authority, said: "We are delighted that this phenomenally expensive programme will not go ahead.
"Sussex has been at the forefront of the opposition to the mergers."
Progress already made towards a merger would help the forces to "move forward with a collaborative solution" to tackling major organised crime and working on counter-terrorism activities across county borders," Mr Jones added.
Surrey Police said its position throughout had been that it could improve resilience if it received better and fairer funding alongside closer co-operation with neighbouring forces.
"We will continue to campaign for fairer funding in line with other South East forces in the weeks and months ahead," a statement said.