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UK to seek new powers to scrutinize foreign takeovers

An empty Westminster Bridge is pictured in front of Britain’s Houses of Parliament in central London on April 13, 2020, as life in Britain continues over the Easter weekend, during the nationwide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. –

GLYN KIRK

Britain will seek changes to the law to allow scrutiny of certain foreign takeovers to ensure they do not threaten the country’s ability to tackle public health emergencies such as the coronavirus outbreak.

The government on Sunday said it would introduce changes to the Enterprise Act on Monday to allow it to intervene if a business involved in a pandemic response became a target of a takeover.

“These powers will send an important signal to those seeking to take advantage of those struggling as a result of the pandemic that the U.K. government is prepared to act where necessary to protect our national security,” Business Secretary Alok Sharma said in a statement.

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