The National Security and Investment Act 2021 has been in force for almost two years. On 13 November 2023 the Government published a call for evidence in respect of this Act. The Act itself was introduced as a regime for intervention and security in respect of acquisitions and investments in the UK for the purpose of protecting national security. The Act which is very wide in it’s remit was catching a number of Acquisition and Investment transactions, despite such transactions not being applicable to the Act. The Government is now seeking feedback on impact, operation and scope of the Act.
The Government has also set out key areas for review, some examples of which can be found below:-
- Artificial Intelligence: Check with stakeholders whether there are activities which should be removed from the remit of the Act or areas which are not currently within its remit such as ‘Generative AI’ which should be included.
- Administration: How the administration of the Act can be further streamlined by the ISU (Investment Security Unit).
- Clarity: Some feedback from stakeholders has suggested that it is not always clear whether their activities bring them within the remit of the Act, therefore further clarification is being sought.
- Suppliers: Clarification of whether some suppliers of businesses also fall within the scope of the Act.
The call for evidence by the Government in this area shows a proactive approach to deal with the ever changing nature of security threats, especially as the Act only came into force on 4 January 2022.
The call for evidence also provides a very valuable opportunity for businesses who have been impacted by this Act to provide their feedback to assist in improving and streamlining certain processes. The call for evidence is set to close on 15 January 2024. The link for the call for evidence can be found below where feedback can be provided.