Marie-Claire Strawbridge recently spoke toGlobal Competition Reviewabout the UK government’s recent decision to move responsibility for national security and investment policy to the Cabinet Office. The move followed the reorganization of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – formerly responsible for enforcing the National Security and Investment Act – into four separate departments.
Marie-Claire suggested that the new department will need to get up to speed quickly on live cases, which “will inevitably put pressure on delivery in the short term.”
The change should not have a material impact on simple cases, as the Investment Screening Unit (ISU) remains bound by statutory deadlines. Marie-Claire explained that “for more complex cases, it is possible we will see delays, given the open-ended nature of the process following call-in. Longer term, it will be interesting to see whether the move will result in any change to the way the ISU operates and interacts with parties, in particular from a transparency perspective.”