The UK government has informed that the new National Security and Investment Bill will "protect (the) UK from malicious investment" and strengthen its ability to investigate and intervene in mergers, acquisitions and other types of deals. This is mandated to prevent foreign companies covering up strategic assets in "malicious" takeovers that are deemed to threaten national security.
Increasing Chinese investment has induced calls from UK lawmakers for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take a stronger stand on Beijing. 20-year-old legislation gets updated by the draft law that is no longer sufficient to tackle modern threats, according to a statement from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The bill is to be introduced before the parliament on Wednesday. It mandates companies to inform the government of merger and acquisition activity in sensitive sectors such as defence, energy and transport.
The legislation names 17 strategic areas including artificial intelligence, nuclear power, robotics and the space industry. Similar measures have been taken by the Britain's key allies like Australia, Italy, France and the United States. Johnson banned China's controversial technology giant Huawei from Britain's 5G network over concerns about spying. China General Nuclear Power (CGN) is meanwhile working alongside France's EDF in the construction of a nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point, in southwest England, to be completed in 2025. The pair are also awaiting formal approval for a new plant at Sizewell on the Suffolk coast in eastern England.