THE JOURNAL OF EXPORT CONTROLS AND SANCTIONS

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UK government examines the future of sanctions after Brexit

October, 2018

Briefing paper addresses certain FAQs on UK sanctions policy post-Brexit.

UK government examines the future of sanctions after Brexit

The UK government has released a briefing paper discussing the UK’s role in sanctions policy after Brexit (26 September). It considers the possible shape of EU sanctions without UK involvement, and how the UK will direct its own sanctions. Points to note include:

  • The UK has had an ‘outsize influence on shaping EU sanctions policy. Britain has been possibly the most important supplier of intelligence to EU and the UK’s important financial sector has also given it extra weight. The UK has often pushed for a robust sanctions policy within the EU; after Brexit there is a strong possibility that the EU will become less enthusiastic about sanctions in general.’
  • There is also a danger that sanctions could become ‘entangled with increasingly competitive and nationalist trade policies and, being less coordinated, could lose legitimacy.’
  • Increased ‘distance’ between the permanent members of the UN Security Council would make ‘UN-mandated sanctions less common. If that does happen, and sanctions are not coordinated among a clear majority of leading nations, they will appear less legitimate.’
  • There may also be ‘unintended consequences’ of financial sanctions against individuals: ‘Freezing the Western assets of oligarchs close to the Kremlin, for example, may result in rich Russians re-patriating their wealth – something that the Kremlin would welcome.’

The House of Commons’ briefing paper can be found here:
http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-8402/CBP-8402.pdf

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