Protecting National Security Through the UK’s Foreign-Takeover Regime

Jeegar Kakkad Director of Policy for Future of Britain

March 14, 2023
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Foreign acquisitions of UK companies increased almost 400 per cent between 2015 and 2022. While inward investment has economic benefits, this boom has raised questions about whether this trend is in the country’s best economic and national-security interests.

The recent wave of foreign takeovers has included approaches for companies in politically sensitive sectors, and the UK government has struggled to effectively scrutinise many of them. The aggregate effect of these approaches has been to reinforce an erosion of the UK’s industrial and national-security capabilities.

Britain needs to remain open to inward investment if we want to modernise our economy, generate growth and protect our national-security and defence capabilities. As such, the government needs to further reform national-security investment rules to depoliticise sensitive decisions in favour of a regime with more predictability, transparency and accountability.

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