Call for Evidence - National Security and Investment Act

The Government has announced the publication of a “Call for Evidence” on potential updates to the National Security and Investment Act to ensure its investment screening powers are up-to-date and proportionate for industry, while at the same time protecting our national security. 

The Act allows the government to scrutinise and intervene in certain acquisitions made by anyone, including businesses and investors that could harm the UK’s national security.

In particular, this new evidence will help the Government:

  • Hone the scope of the system’s mandatory notification requirements;
  • Improve NSI notification and assessment processes; and
  • Develop the Government’s public guidance and communications on how the NSI Act works and where the Government tends to see risk arising.

The act covers a significant range of advanced materials technologies and Government is particularly interested in feedback on clarifying the scope of this area.

The call for evidence states:

Advanced Materials offer significant benefits to military capability, through increased functionality, improved survivability, enhanced maintainability and reduced through-life cost. 

The Government has received feedback that this area of the Regulations is too complex and could be structured more clearly. We are therefore seeking feedback on how we can improve the clarity in this area.

A party acquiring a qualifying entity that operates in one of 17 sensitive areas of the economy, including advanced materials, may need to tell the government and get approval before it can complete its acquisition. These are called ‘mandatory notification’ requirements and cover areas which are considered more likely to give rise to national security risks.

The schedule around advanced materials can be found here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/1264/schedule/1

The Call for Evidence will close on 15 January 2024 and stakeholders can also respond online at this link [smartsurvey.co.uk]. They can also reach out to the team at  nsipolicy@cabinetoffice.gov.uk if they need to discuss other ways to respond.