New protections for UK businesses key to national security and fight against coronavirus

Released 21 June 2020

Proposed changes to the Enterprise Act 2002 will allow the Government to scrutinise certain foreign takeovers to ensure they do not threaten the UK’s ability to combat a public health emergency such as coronavirus.

New powers will enable the Government to intervene if a business that is directly involved in a pandemic response, for example, a vaccine research company or personal protective equipment manufacturer, finds itself the target of a takeover.

In addition, these changes will expand powers to scrutinise and intervene in mergers in three sectors of the economy central to national security – artificial intelligence, cryptographic authentication technology and advanced materials – by lowering the thresholds that must be met before such scrutiny can take place.

Further information on the changes can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-protections-for-uk-businesses-key-to-national-security-and-fight-against-coronavirus.

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