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 Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) 2:30 pm, 3rd December 2020

I thank all the hon. Members for their contributions, and the Minister for his remarks and his good humoured response to the interrogation on certain parts of this important clause. I recognise the importance of the clause and the importance of considering retrospective validations without application giving the all-consuming power through the voiding of notifiable acquisition without the approval of the Secretary of State. This debate has illustrated the need for greater clarity.

In the absence of the additional guidance that we were looking for in our earlier amendment, this has the possibility of becoming a legal goldmine for lawyers who are requested to give advice on what would or would not constitute a void transaction at what time. I raise that in the context of the requests of my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, Test and myself for greater clarity about the period, which may represent some sort of legal limbo, between when a transaction takes place but before it is given retrospective approval. However, we do not oppose the clause.