Clause 5 - Meaning of “trigger event” and “acquirer”

Part of National Security and Investment Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 1st December 2020.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) 3:15 pm, 1st December 2020

I thank the Minister for his comments on clauses 5 and 10 and schedule 1, which are quite technical provisions designed to allow for the different ways in which control may be acquired over a qualifying entity or asset or a trigger event may occur. I shall not repeat what the Minister so ably set out, but simply say that we recognise the need to set out ways to mitigate the impact of hostile actors, as he put it, going to complex lengths to hide their interest in a qualifying asset or entity. However, having the powers and these definitions is not the same as actually using them. There have been several instances in which hostile actors have behaved in entirely transparent ways that we have not identified and prevented. While these provisions are necessary, we need to see the ways in which the Secretary of State will actively identify evolving risks even as they hide behind complex financial organisations.