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New Merger and Takeover Rules Come Into Force

On Monday 11th June 2018 the government made changes to the UK's merger regime to recognise the growing importance of small British businesses in developing cutting edge technology products with national security applications.

In order to address changes in the market, the government amended the threshold tests for businesses in the military, dual-use, computing hardware and quantum technology sectors that are most likely to have implications for our security.

New rules apply to businesses developing military and dual-use technology, computing hardware and quantum technology. Changes to help continue to keep the country safe and maintain UK's global reputation as an open, trading nation and the measures follow a review of the government's approach to foreign investment and national security

These changes allow ministers to intervene on certain grounds when the target business's UK turnover is more than £1 million, down from £70 million under the previous rules. They also remove the requirement that a merger or takeover in these sectors lead to an increase in the parties' combined share of supply of relevant goods or services before the government is able to intervene.

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Commonwealth Countries Unite to Tackle Ocean Plastic Pollution

On 17th July 2018 Countries across the Commonwealth meet to discuss next steps in tackling plastic entering the marine environment.

Four more countries have signed up to UK and Vanuatu-led efforts to tackle ocean plastic, announced Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey today as she hosted the first meeting of the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance (CCOA).

The Alliance, which was announced by the Prime Minister during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London (16-18 April), aims to unite countries around the Commonwealth so they can work together to turn the tide on plastic entering the marine environment. It sees each country pledging to take action - be this by a ban on microbeads, a commitment to cutting down on single use plastic bags, or other steps to eliminate avoidable plastic waste.

Three months on, Australia, Fiji, Kenya and St Lucia have now formally joined the Alliance and will sit alongside New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Ghana to create a nine-strong coalition in the fight against plastic pollution.

High Commissioners from over 30 Commonwealth countries, including Tanzania and Nigeria who have not formally signed up to the Alliance, met in London today to share the ambitions and expertise they have and reiterate their commitment to healthy oceans.

The UK Government continues to lead the way in tackling plastic, with one of the world’s strongest bans on microbeads introduced last month and 9 billion fewer bags distributed thanks to the 5p plastic bag charge. Environment Secretary Michael Gove has also outlined ambitious plans to end the sale of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds and introduce a deposit return scheme, subject to consultation.

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18 July 2018
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