The National Security and Investment (NS&I) Act came into force on 4 January 2022 and is the most significant change to the UK's national security landscape for the last 20 years, containing important new requirements for a variety of 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 if it believes it could harm UK 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.
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.
This briefing will offer techUK members an insight into what the implications of the new powers are for industry, how to navigate the investment screening regime and the opportunity to hear from lawyers at Baker McKenzie on their thoughts and experiences at their firm since the Act came into force.
Key discussion points will center around:
1. How will the Act ensure it strikes a balance between protecting national security and continued investment into the UK?
2. Given the lack of definition around 'national security', does this follow practice of other global governments? Does this aim to ensure that interpretations of the term can evolve over time, making the Act flexible and responsive to national threats?
3. Do the UK government's expectations regarding the number of acquisitions posting a threat to national security still stand? Have there been more notifications than expected or less?
4. What do we know about the concept of 'white-list' investors and how will this work in practice?
5. How closely is the UK government liaising with its allies on investment security issues and comparing different FDI regimes?
6. Is the current notifications process working effectively? Does the 30-day period provide sufficient time to assess national security risks?
7. Has the inclusion of a broad list of mandatory sectors hindered industry? How well are these sectors defined?
If you have any questions you would like to submit for discussion prior to the event, please send these over to [email protected] by COP Monday 11th July.
Guest speaker: Ross Evans, Senior Associate - Competition, Trade and Foreign Investment, Baker McKenzie.
Please note that this event will be fully virtual and joining instructions will be sent closer to the date.