The National Security and Investment Act Comes into Force

New UK investment screening powers enter into force on 4 January 2022

The National Security and Investment (NSI) Act is the most significant change to the UK's national security landscape for the last 20 years and contains important new requirements for techUK members. Through these new powers the government will be able to impose certain conditions on an acquisition or investment such as unwinding the purchase or blocking the investment.

The new rules took effect from 4 January 2022 and allow the Government to scrutinise and intervene in acquisitions that it believes could harm the UK's national security. The Government has not explicitly defined national security so that these new powers can be flexible and reflect the threats the UK faces today.

techUK has concerns that the new rules could lead to uncertainty and additional bureaucracy for potential investors and companies operating in the UK. However, the Government has said that the majority of acquisitions will require no intervention and will be able to proceed quickly. 

The new regime requires businesses and investors to notify the Government of certain acquisitions across 17 sensitive areas of the economy. These include Advanced Materials, Advanced Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Civil Nuclear, Communications, Computing Hardware, Critical Suppliers to Government, Cryptographic Authentication, Data Infrastructure, Defence, Energy, Military and Dual-Use, Quantum Technologies, Satellite and Space Technologies, Suppliers to the Emergency Services, Synthetic Biology and Transport.

To help companies understand the new rules the Government has provided guidance which members can find links to below. If you have any further questions, please reach out to [email protected].


Neil Ross

Neil Ross

Associate Director, Policy, techUK

Raya Tsolova

Programme Manager, National Security, techUK