To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that (1) the National Security and Investment Bill, and (2) the Telecommunications Bill, do not inhibit foreign investment in the UK.
14 December 2020
The National Security and Investment Bill will introduce slicker investment routes and more certainty for businesses, as we remain open to trade and recover from COVID-19. This will ensure the UK remains the premier investment destination in the world, providing certainty for businesses that they will not be targeted by hostile actors.
Analysis outlined in the Impact Assessment for the National Security and Investment Bill has shown that, providing national security regimes are clear, objective, and predictable, they do not play a major role in the investment decision-making process.
The Government has been clear that this regime will be exclusively used to protect the UK from national security threats, rather than wider political considerations. The Government is making the process of notifying and screening investments simpler, quicker, and slicker by providing clearance within statutory timelines. The Government will also facilitate businesses engaging with the process by providing informal advice on the regime and not charging fees for submitting a notification.
The powers given to my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State to give designated vendor directions in the Telecommunications (Security) Bill is designed to allow for restrictions to be imposed on the use by telecoms providers of goods, services, and facilities from high-risk vendors, in the interests of national security. The restrictions that may be imposed by way of a direction do not extend to restrictions on inward investment from other countries.
The recently announced Office for Investment will work seamlessly across the Government to drive and co-ordinate the deal-enabling activities that are required to land high-impact and high-value investments.