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Alternative Market Briefing

Other voices: UK outlines its plans for wide-ranging new foreign investment review powers

Friday, November 13, 2020

By: Marc Israel, Kate Kelliher

The UK has outlined the details of its new National Security and Investment Bill, heralding the introduction of a new regime for foreign direct investments in the UK. The new regime would introduce, for the first time, a mandatory pre-screening mechanism for deals involving foreign investments in sensitive sectors. This new regime represents a substantial expansion of the foreign investment review mechanism in the UK in terms of both its scope and its powers, and is likely to result in more cases being reviewed - and conditions imposed, or deals blocked - where they are deemed to pose a national security risk.

The UK Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced that the new National Security and Investment Bill (NSIB) will be introduced to Ministers on 11 November 2020. This comes after a long period of consideration by the Government, which announced its intention to tighten up the UK's national security rules in 2017. The new NSIB foresees a comprehensive overhaul of the existing foreign investment review powers in the UK. Key features of the NSIB include:

  • the introduction of a review mechanism designed to assess the extent to which transactions could pose a risk to UK national security based on mandatory notification of certain foreign direct investments in UK companies, assets and intellectual property in designated 'sensitive sectors' set to include communications, defence, tran......................

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