Those nice people at 123-Reg brought the following to my attention:
On 12th November ICANN will introduce a new policy designed to make
transfers of non-UK domain names between Registrars quicker and easier.
From this date, if there is no acknowledgement from the domain
owner/admin contact within 5 days of a transfer request being made, the
transfer will automatically take place.
Obviously this means there is a small increase in the risk of a domain being transferred fraudulently, so if you have a non-UK domain name registered, I’d check this out with your domain registrar.