The UK’s Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act has received royal assent. The Act creates a new domestic framework which will enable the UK to impose and enforce sanctions after Brexit.
At present, the UK imposes non-UN sanctions through EU laws. The legislation ensures that the UK can continue to enforce existing sanctions regimes, which currently number over 30 and include those related to DPRK (North Korea), Russia, and Daesh (so-called Islamic State). The Act also contains additional powers to stop funding for terrorists, by making it easier to freeze assets and block access to bank accounts.
Under the Act, sanctions regulations may be made when appropriate for:
- the purposes of compliance with a UN obligation;
- the purposes of compliance with any other international obligation; or
- for a purpose stated within s1(2) of the Act, e.g. a ‘discretionary purpose’, such as in the interests of national security or the interests of international peace and security.
The list of ‘discretionary purposes’ set out in the Act also include providing ‘accountability for or be a deterrent to gross violations of human rights,’ and to ‘contribute to multilateral efforts to prevent the spread and use of weapons and materials of mass destruction,’ as well as other humanitarian concerns. The operational provisions of the Act are not yet in force.
For copy of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 see: