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Queen’s Speech Proposes International Sanctions Bill

  • United Kingdom
  • Sanctions


As anticipated from the recent Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation’s (“OFSI”) Public consultation on the UK’s future sanctions legal framework, (published in April 2017), the Queen’s Speech this week proposed an International Sanctions Bill to enable the UK to continue playing a central role in negotiating global sanctions, in addition to complying with its international obligations and pursuant to foreign policy and national security objectives, post Brexit. We set out below the key points to consider:

Key elements of the Bill:

The bill aims to provide domestic legislative framework to allow the Government to:

  • impose sanctions to ensure compliance with obligations under international law after the UK’s exit from the EU, which include: asset freezes, travel bans and trade and market restrictions;
  • ensure individuals or organisations can challenge or request a review of the sanctions imposed on them;
  • exempt or license certain types of activity, such as payments for food and medicine which would otherwise be restricted by sanctions;
  • amend regulations for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing and to pass new ones after the UK’s exit from the EU.

Key benefits of the Bill:

  • ensure that as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the UK continues to play a central role in negotiating global sanctions to counter threats of terrorism, conflict and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, as well as bringing about changes in behaviour;
  • return decision-making powers of non-UN sanctions to the UK;
  • enable the UK’s continued compliance with international law after the UK’s exit from the EU.

Territorial scope and application:

  • The bill would apply wholly to the UK and contain provisions to extend to Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies as appropriate.


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