New laws to strengthen national security come into effect

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"In light of high global gas prices, we need to ensure Britain’s future energy supply is bolstered by reliable, affordable, low carbon power that is generated in this country" - Business and Energy Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street.

The National Security and Investment (NSI) Act – the biggest shake-up of the UK’s national security regime for 20 years – has fully commenced today (4 January 2022).

From today, the government will be able to scrutinise and intervene in certain acquisitions made by anyone, including businesses and investors, that could harm the UK’s national security, better reflecting the threats we face today.

The government will also be able to impose certain conditions on an acquisition or, if necessary, unwind or block it – although it is expected this will happen rarely and the vast majority of deals will require no intervention and be able to proceed without delay. 

The NSI Act will give investors additional certainty and clarity and cement the UK’s world-leading reputation as a global champion of free trade and investment as well as an attractive place to invest, with more transparency and more simple, efficient clearance processes for relevant acquisitions.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:

The UK is world-renowned as an attractive place to invest but we have always been clear that we will not hesitate to step in where necessary to protect our national security.  

The new investment screening process in place from today is simple and quick, giving investors and firms the certainty they need to do business, and giving everyone in the UK the peace of mind that their security remains our number one priority.

The vast majority of acquisitions will require no intervention and will be able to proceed quickly and with certainty in the knowledge that the government will not revisit a transaction once cleared unless false or misleading information was provided.

The new regime is even more transparent about the types of deals the government could examine, and requires businesses and investors to notify the government of certain acquisitions across 17 sensitive areas of the economy, including Artificial Intelligence and Civil Nuclear.

The government has published comprehensive guidance to help businesses and investors to understand their obligations under the new rules, including how to assess whether the government must be notified of an acquisition, and what to expect when going through the NSI notification and assessment process.

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1 COMMENT

  1. This news is fantastic and needs to be made public a lot more, although these things are happening the people of this country are not being made aware, the MSM and opposition parties are a disgrace all they talk about is bogus parties. People voted for Boris Johnson and his manifesto, it’s a disgrace the way government is behaving.

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