How to improve the National Security Bill in just one clause

The National Security Bill got a fairly warm welcome when it came to second reading.

But it’s missing one crucial component: measures to keep our tech regulation in lockstep with our allies. So it the interests of building a bit of cross-party unity about the issue, here’s a draft amendment:

Liam Byrne

Companies subject to controls: Reporting

To move the following Clause—

(1) Within six months of the passing of this Act, and every twelve months thereafter, the Secretary of State must lay before both Houses of Parliament a report on companies subject to relevant controls. 

(2) A company is subject to relevant controls for the purpose of subsection (1), where—

(a) condition A, and 

(b) either condition B or condition C are met.

(3) Condition A is that a public authority in the United States of America or the European Union, or both, has imposed on the company either—

(a) controls on its raising of finance,

(b) controls on its investing in or trading in financial instruments,

(c) restrictions on its exports,

(d) restrictions on its imports,

(e) controls on its export of data, 

(f) revocation of its trading licenses, or

(g) sanctions against its board directors. 

(4) Condition B is that the public authority imposed the applicable controls in subsection (3) in response to conductof the company which the public authority believed represented, or was capable of representing, a threat to the national security of the United States of America or European Union (as applicable). 

(5) Condition C is that the imposition of applicable controls in subsection (3) has not been attributed by the public authorityto conduct set out in subsection (4), but that the Secretary of State believes, or has reasonable basis to believe, that the company has engaged in conduct which represents, or is capable of representing, a threat to the national security of the United Kingdom. 

(6) A report under this section must set out what controls,restrictions or other sanctions UK public authorities haveimposed on each of the companies listed in the report.

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