Government seeks powers to stop malicious investment in UK

Ministers will today introduce the National Security and Investment Bill to enhance the government’s powers to investigate and intervene in potentially hostile foreign direct investment that threatens UK national security.

In a statement the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said: “Under the Bill, investors and businesses will have to notify a dedicated government unit through a single digital portal about certain types of transactions in designated sensitive sectors, such as our defence, energy and transport sectors, to ensure it can investigate and take action to address any national security risks.

“The Bill will also extend our screening powers so we can interrogate the acquisition of sensitive assets and intellectual property, as well as the acquisition of companies.

“Investments will be screened much more quickly than the current regime, assessing transactions within 30 working days – and often faster – with timelines set out in law rather than by the government on a case-by-case basis as is currently the case.”

Business Secretary Alok Sharma added: “The UK remains one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world and we want to keep it that way. But hostile actors should be in no doubt – there is no back door into the UK.”

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