Wednesday, June 29, 2022
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Brexit betrayal! PM slammed as Welsh microchip factory sold to China: 'Not protecting us'

The Government has decided not to block the sale of Newport Wafer Fab, the UK’s largest semiconductor plant, to Nexperia, a Dutch subsidiary of the Chinese technology company Wingtech. Semiconductors, also known as microchips, are a critical component of electronic devices, including smartphones. A major controversy broke out after Nexperia attempted to buy the plant last spring.

Following the uproar, in June, Mr Johnson announced an investigation into the case, launching a review by the Government’s national security adviser, Sir Stephen Lovegrove.

Six months later, Sir Lovegrove has concluded that there is no risk to the UK’s security, and thus there is no reason to block the sale, Politico reported.

Conservative MPs have already raised alarm bells following the decision, arguing that Mr Lovegrove is applying too narrow of a definition of UK security.

Tom Tugendhat, the chairman of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, said: “It’s not clear why we haven’t used our new powers under the National Security and Investment Act to fully review the takeover of one of our leading compound semiconductor companies.”

He added: “This is an area where China is sinking billions to compete.

“The government has no clear strategy to protect what’s left of our semiconductor industry.”

The National Security and Investment Act (NSI) came into force on January 4, 2022.

The post-Brexit act gives the Government powers to scrutinise and intervene in business transactions, such as takeovers, to protect national security.

It comes after Mr Johnson promised to “back” British businesses.

READ MORE: Why is there a semiconductor shortage?



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