Exiting the European Union (Sanctions)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:10 pm on 9th April 2019.

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Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan Minister of State 2:10 pm, 9th April 2019

As you have said and with your permission, Mr Speaker, I think the House will appreciate it if I consider the four statutory instruments together. In speaking to the Burma (Sanctions) (EU Exit) regulations, I will also speak to the Venezuela (Sanctions) (EU Exit) regulations, the Iran (Sanctions) (Human Rights) (EU Exit) regulations and the Guinea-Bissau (Sanctions) (EU Exit) regulations. These regulations provide the required details of these four sanctions regimes, but they do not set out which individuals or entities will actually be sanctioned under them. In a no-deal scenario, we will publish on exit day the full list of those we are sanctioning under our UK legislation.

Hon. Members will be well aware of the importance of sanctions. They are a key element of our approach to our most important international priorities. They help to defend our national interests, support our foreign policy and protect our national security. They also demonstrate our support for the rules-based international order. The UK has been a leading contributor to the development of multilateral sanctions in recent years. We have been particularly influential in guiding the EU’s approach and, when we move the EU’s sanctions regimes to the UK in a no-deal scenario, we will carry over their policy effect. I will say more about that in just a moment.

We are committed to maintaining our sanctions capabilities and leadership role after we leave the EU. Hon. Members will recall that the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 provides the UK with the legal powers to impose, update or lift sanctions after we leave the EU. This was the first major legislative step in creating an independent UK sanctions framework.