On November 11, 2020, the United Kingdom introduced the National Security and Investment Bill (NSI Bill) directed at improving its national security screening regime for investments. With the introduction of the NSI Bill, the UK joins a long list of nations, including Canada, Australia and the United States, that have altered their national security investment screening processes and/or policies since the COVID-19 crisis started.
The NSI Bill contemplates:
- mandatory pre-closing notification requirements for transactions involving specific listed industry sectors;
- a voluntary notification process for transactions not involving a listed sector but which still may raise national security concerns; and
- a “call in” power to screen transactions either not requiring notification or, where notification has been made, a decision is made within 30 business days of filing that a more detailed assessment is required.