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Chinese Investment: Intellectual Property

Volume 677: debated on Tuesday 16 June 2020

What steps he is taking to ensure that Chinese investment in UK businesses does not undermine UK intellectual property. (903262)

The Government have powers under the Enterprise Act 2002 to intervene in certain transactions on national security grounds. We will bring forward legislation to strengthen our existing powers in this area, including enabling Government intervention in acquisitions of assets such as sensitive intellectual property.

First, may I associate myself with our memories of Jo Cox? She was my close friend, neighbour and great comrade and colleague.

Why cannot this Government and Prime Minister wake up to the threat from China, which wants to be the dominant world economic superpower? Does the Minister not realise that China cannot be trusted? It has been stealing our intellectual property from universities, businesses and Government for years. How could we possibly want it to be involved in our telecommunications industry through Huawei, and will we please put a stop to the partnership on developing nuclear power in our country?

We welcome inward investment in the UK’s civil nuclear sector. All investment involving critical infrastructure is subject to thorough scrutiny. Foreign investment and an active competitive economy are key to the UK’s growth. The UK wants a modern and mature relationship with China based on mutual respect and trust.