On 29 April 2021, UKP announced bill received royal assent, following agreement by both Houses on text of the bill, therefore the bill is now an act of parliament (law).
- New act intended to modernize UK GVT powers to investigate, intervene in potentially hostile foreign direct investment, while promoting UK as attractive place to invest.
- The act provided more efficient clearance processes for relevant acquisitions.
- The act also strengthened the government’s ability to investigate and intervene in mergers, acquisitions and other deals that could threaten UK national security.
- Act means UK GVT can scrutinize, impose conditions on, block deals with unacceptable risk to GB's national security, investors and businesses must notify investment security unit about certain types of transactions in designated sensitive sectors, e.g. AI.
- The UK's screening powers are extended to include assets like intellectual property.
- Transactions to be assessed in 30 working days, often quicker, with timelines set in law for first time, investors can notify transactions they sense affect national security.
- This is to ensure that no dangerous deal can slip through the net unchecked.
- Secretary of State will also have power to call in acquisitions in the wider economy which were not notified to government, but may raise national security concerns.
- And under the act, UK GVT must be notified if a person’s stake or voting rights in a sensitive acquisition surpasses 25%, to be reviewed by new investment security unit.