Sovereignty “must not be for sale,” MPs warn as Welsh electronics factory has been taken over by Chinese company
British sovereignty “must not be for sale”, MEPs warned, as the UK’s largest microchip factory is bought by a Chinese company with links to the Beijing government.
The government must do much more to protect Britain’s strategic industrial assets, according to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.
It highlighted Nexperia’s takeover of Newport Wafer Fab (NWF) during a global chip shortage, a sale that means the asset has passed into the hands of a company heavily backed by the Chinese Communist Party.
The Prime Minister has asked National Security Advisor Sir Stephen Lovegrove to consider the buyout.
The Committee said in a report that “UK sovereignty must not be for sale”.
He added that “failure to conduct a detailed assessment of this transaction under the National Security and Investment Law (NSI) would indicate that the government continues to have an unrealistic understanding of the Chinese government’s intentions. and prioritizes short-term commercial interests over the long-term security of our country.
“The case of the NWF can still serve to demonstrate that, despite the stated intentions of the NSI bill, the government has not yet learned the lessons of previous years.”
The chairman of the committee, Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat MP, said: “Our fiercest competitors, especially China, have a habit of using foreign investment to gain access to important technology and information.
“We have seen too many brilliant tech companies from our country disappear overseas with potentially significant implications for the economy and foreign policy.
“Why was the national security adviser not involved in the first place? What new information prompted the Prime Minister to refer it to him ….? “