Extending ‘National Security’ in merger control and investment: A good deal for the UK?

David Reader

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As part of preparations for life after Brexit, the Government of the United Kingdom has introduced wide-ranging proposals for strengthening its powers to scrutinise mergers, acquisitions and investments that raise national security concerns in specific sectors. The proposals seek to extend the scope that the government currently has to intervene in transactions in order to ensure the national security of the UK, while simultaneously minimising any adverse effect these reforms may have on predictability and procedural transparency. Yet, while the government’s proposal document makes all the right noises with regard to investor certainty, the resurrection of ministerial decision-making under the proposed reforms could yet act to deter foreign direct investment (FDI) by creating perceptions of an assessment process based on subjective criteria.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-52
Number of pages18
JournalCompetition Law International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • merger control
  • competition law
  • foreign direct investment
  • national security

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