Insights All parts of National Security and Investment Act 2021 now in force

On 4 January 2022, with the commencement of the National Security and Investment Act 2021 (Commencement No 2 and Transitional and Saving Provision) Regulations 2021, the National Security and Investment Act 2021 (NSI Act) came fully into force.

The NSI Act gives the Government power to scrutinise and intervene in certain acquisitions made by anyone, including businesses and investors, that could harm the UK’s national security. The Government can also impose certain conditions on an acquisition or, if necessary, unwind or block it, although the Government says that it expects this to happen only rarely, and the vast majority of deals will require no intervention and be able to proceed without delay. The NSI Act also gives investors additional certainty and clarity, with more transparency and more simple, efficient clearance processes for relevant acquisitions.

The Government says that the vast majority of acquisitions will require no intervention and will be able to proceed quickly and with certainty in the knowledge that the Government will not revisit a transaction once cleared unless false or misleading information was provided.

The new regime is more transparent about the types of deals the Government could examine and requires businesses and investors to notify it of certain acquisitions across 17 sensitive areas of the economy, including Artificial Intelligence and Civil Nuclear.

The Government has also published a collection of guidance documents to help businesses and investors understand their obligations under the new rules, including how to assess whether the Government must be notified of an acquisition, and what to expect when going through the NSI notification and assessment process. To read the Government’s press release in full and for a link to the guidance collection, click here.