Clause 15 - Requirement to consider retrospective validation without application

Part of National Security and Investment Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 3rd December 2020.

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Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 2:30 pm, 3rd December 2020

I am happy to write to the hon. Lady on that point. What I think she is talking about is about the gap between the Secretary of State being aware and when the transaction actually took place, because the date where it is void is the date of the closing of that transaction, but I am very happy to write to her about that.

It is not in the interests of either the Government or the parties for the Secretary of State to have an unfettered ability to issue a call-in notice, perhaps long after he becomes aware of the notifiable acquisition. This approach provides a sensible mechanism for resolving the effects of automatic voiding arising from failures to receive clearance. I reassert my view that such situations should be rare, but it is only proper that the Bill provides such a mechanism for the Secretary of State to resolve them satisfactorily, should they arise. I hope hon. Members agree with that position.