UK outlines sanctions policy in event of no Brexit deal
17 Oct 2018

The United Kingdom will continue to work with the European Union on implementing sanctions after it leaves the bloc, however it may not necessarily fully replicate all aspects of existing EU sanctions, a government statement explained.

In recent months, differences between London and Brussels over negotiating a Brexit deal has seen both sides publicity discuss the prospect of a ‘no deal.’ Officials are understood to be preparing for such an eventuality and how it may impact various government departments.

The UK’s Foreign Office (FCO) has published guidance titled ‘Sanctions policy if there’s no Brexit deal’, which explains that:

“We will work with the EU and other international partners on sanctions where this is in our mutual interest. [But] you should not assume that all aspects of existing EU sanctions will be replicated exactly. Check new legislation and ensure you comply with its requirements, and check future guidance when we publish it.”

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, it will look to carry over all EU sanctions at the time of its departure, it explained.

However, the UK also seeks to use its new powers under its Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act, which provides the legal basis for it to impose, update and lift sanctions after leaving the EU.

“If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, we will look to carry over all EU sanctions at the time of our departure. We will implement sanctions regimes through new legislation, in the form of regulations, made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (the Sanctions Act),” the FCO said.

“We propose to put much of this legislation before Parliament before March 2019, to prepare for the possibility of the UK leaving the EU without a deal. Any sanctions regimes that we did not address, through regulations under the Sanctions Act by March 2019, would continue as retained EU law under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018. This means there will be no gaps in implementing existing sanctions regimes.”

According to the FCO, the UK’s sanctions regulations will include: the purposes of the sanctions regime (what the UK hopes will be achieved through imposing sanctions), the criteria to be met before sanctions can be imposed on a person or group and how it will enforce sanctions measures.

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