Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 - Motion to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:12 pm on 29th July 2020.

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Photo of Lord Anderson of Swansea Lord Anderson of Swansea Labour 6:12 pm, 29th July 2020

My Lords, I join the chorus of approval and will pose a number of questions. Do the Government accept that EU membership was not a factor in the delay since the 2018 Act? Of course, the Baltics already have legislation in this field. Because of the delay, surely many malefactors will have disposed of their assets in this country. Are the Government satisfied that financial institutions in the overseas territories are sufficiently robust to counter such malefactors?

Will the Government use the vast pool of NGO experience in this field, given the FCO’s limited resources? I think particularly of the Natalia Estemirova Documentation Centre in Oslo. To what extent will the Government exchange information and, where appropriate, seek to align our lists with friendly countries? I note what Secretary Pompeo said to the Henry Jackson Society about the Uighurs a few days ago.

Finally, are universities and schools covered by the new regulations? Of course, they might accept dirty money for their own purposes.

That said, I congratulate the all-party coalition of Andrew Mitchell, Margaret Hodge and Dominic Raab when he was a Back-Bencher. He has been wholly consistent when in government and persuaded a reluctant Government to accept these Magnitsky amendments to the 2018 Act, all aided by the indefatigable Bill Browder. As someone who gave evidence to the European Parliament and produced a report for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on this subject, I warmly commend the Government’s initiative—at last.