Exiting the European Union (Sanctions)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:15 pm on 9th April 2019.

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Photo of Mark Menzies Mark Menzies Conservative, Fylde 3:15 pm, 9th April 2019

My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. Not only has the volume of oil produced collapsed, but many of the oil workers who would have produced the oil have fled the regime. Their families are living in absolute penury as a result of years of neglect and economic mismanagement. Mike Gapes was quite right to point out the extreme wealth that is being accumulated corruptly by members of the Chávez and Maduro regimes and by the military. Much of that money is offshored, including vast amounts in Spain. This is not a new phenomenon: for many years, the property market in some areas of Madrid was red hot with money that was flowing out of Venezuela and being used to buy office blocks and residential properties galore in order to cleanse the money out of Venezuela.

Any robust sanctions regime should not only ensure that money is prevented from leaving the country now but take into account the money that has been leaving for years, including at massive rates under Chávez. [Interruption.] That is clearly uncomfortable for the hon. Member for Bishop Auckland, but that money was stolen from the people of Venezuela and it needs to be taken back in as part of any sanctions regime. [Interruption.] If we are talking about laughter, we have seen great amount of laughter from the hon. Lady. This is either something she finds funny or something that she fails to understand.