From 4th January 2022, the government can question and intervene in certain investments that could harm the UK’s national security through the National Security and Investment Act (NSI). This includes 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. The NSI Act will give investors additional certainty and clarity with simpler, efficient processes for relevant acquisitions.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng says: “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 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 partnerships across 17 sensitive areas of the economy, including Artificial Intelligence and Civil Nuclear.