Sanctions framework in a post-Brexit UK

Publication May 2017


Introduction

On 21 April 2017 the government launched a consultation on the United Kingdom’s future legal framework for imposing and implementing sanctions (the Consultation). The Consultation paper sets out the government’s proposals for, and invites responses on, the future framework for sanctions regimes once the UK has completed its withdrawal from the European Union. This is necessary because many powers used in relation to sanctions exist by virtue of the UK’s membership in the EU.

Implications

As with the Policing and Crime Act, the Consultation demonstrates the UK government’s intent that the UK sanctions regime will become more important in a post-Brexit world. Whilst the basic tools available to it are unlikely to change, the focus on sanctions early in the two-year Article 50 exit period signals their value. How UK foreign policy will or will not diverge from EU policy remains to be seen, but an interest in increased enforcement is obvious. In their risk and compliance reviews, corporates and financial institutions alike would do well to anticipate enhanced scrutiny from OFSI and coordination with its US counterpart, OFAC.

Implications

As with the Policing and Crime Act, the Consultation demonstrates the UK government’s intent that the UK sanctions regime will become more important in a post-Brexit world. Whilst the basic tools available to it are unlikely to change, the focus on sanctions early in the two-year Article 50 exit period signals their value. How UK foreign policy will or will not diverge from EU policy remains to be seen, but an interest in increased enforcement is obvious. In their risk and compliance reviews, corporates and financial institutions alike would do well to anticipate enhanced scrutiny from OFSI and coordination with its US counterpart, OFAC.


Recent publications

Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest legal news, information and events...