Exiting the European Union (Sanctions)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:26 pm on 29th April 2019.

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Photo of Alan Duncan Alan Duncan Minister of State 6:26 pm, 29th April 2019

Right hon. and hon. Members will be well aware of the importance of sanctions, which 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, which is why, when we transpose the EU sanctions regimes to the UK, we intend to carry over its policy effect. I will say more about that in a moment.

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

However, although the Act sets out the framework needed to impose our own independent sanctions, we need statutory instruments to set out the detail of each sanctions regime within that framework. Such statutory instruments set out the purposes of our sanctions regimes, the criteria under which the Secretary of State may designate individuals and entities and the types of restrictive measures imposed. They do not specify which individuals or entities will be sanctioned. The Government will publish the list of those we are sanctioning under UK legislation when the prohibitions come into force. We will seek to transfer EU designations in each case, but those decisions will be subject to the legal tests set out in the Act. Any EU listings that do not meet the tests will not be implemented.