The Henry Jackson Society this evening reacted to the news that Ministers are expected to float new powers to block or unwind foreign takeovers which pose a threat to national security in a White Paper.
This will move Britain in to line with allies such as Australia, Japan, Germany, and the United States by strengthening investment screening powers and giving the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy more oversight over foreign mergers and acquisitions of British companies with intellectual property germane to Britain’s national security.
While the Henry Jackson Society fully supports a ‘Global Britain’ that is competitive in global trade, it is clear that this was badly needed in today’s increasingly geopolitical environment.
Dr John Hemmings, Director of the Asia Studies Centre at the Henry Jackson Society, said:
“Authoritarian powers like China and Russia have sought to buy and steal sensitive technologies in the West, either to access future war-fighting technologies – such as AI and quantum – or to strike at the vulnerable heart of Britain’s digital infrastructure, potentially giving them access to the nation’s sensitive intelligence and data.
“Chinese firms have carried out deals involving Global Switch, Dynex Semiconductor, and Northern Aerospace with little real scrutiny or oversight. This White Paper looks like a step in the right direction.
“As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, policymakers must decide between finding our fortune and protecting our nation. This White Paper will go some way toward the latter.”