Libya update: Political action taken by UK Government

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The UK Government has taken action to freeze assets of the Libyan regime, to impose export controls on Libyan banknotes and to remove head of State exemptions from UK immigration controls.

Action to freeze assets of the Libyan regime

The Government has today taken action to freeze the assets of Colonel Muammar Abu Minyar al Qadhafi, members of his family and those acting on their behalf or at their direction.

The individuals subject to an asset freeze are:

  • Colonel Muammar Abu Minyar al-Qadhafi
  • Aisha Muammar Qadhafi (daughter)
  • Hannibal Muammar Qadhafi (son)
  • Khamis Muammar Qadhafi (son)
  • Mutassim Qadhafi (son)

  • Saif al-Islam Qadhafi (son) The Chancellor of the Exchequer said:

“I have today taken action to freeze the assets in the UK of Colonel Qadhafi and his family or those acting on their behalf so that they cannot be used against the interests of the Libyan people. This follows the UN Security Council Resolution tabled by the UK and France.

“I decided to implement this UN resolution in the UK as quickly as possible, before the financial markets reopened.

“Together with the action taken by William Hague and Vince Cable, this is a strong message for the Libyan regime that violence against its own people is not acceptable.”

This action has been taken following the United Nations’ adoption of Security Council Resolution 1970 (2011), alongside action by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for Business, Industry and Skills as set out below.

As from 17:15 Sunday 27 February 2011 all funds, financial assets and economic resources owned or controlled by the listed individuals and entities, or by anyone acting on their behalf or by entities controlled by them, are frozen. No funds or economic resources can be made available to listed persons or entities, or for their benefit. The UK financial sector has been informed of this action and has been made aware of their obligations to freeze the funds of designated persons. The Treasury will monitor compliance rigorously.

Export controls

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has today signed an Order, under the Export Control Act 2002, prohibiting the export of uncirculated Libyan banknotes without a licence from the UK. This Order applies only to uncirculated bank notes, and it does not apply to any other currency except for Libyan. It is a criminal offence to export any controlled item without a licence.

The Order comes into force without delay and it will be placed before Parliament tomorrow. If approved, it will remain in force for a maximum of one year.

Following the announcement of a UN Arms Embargo, all existing export licences for goods and technology that could be used for internal repression have been revoked. In considering export licences in future, we will follow the terms of the newly agreed UN Arms Embargo. Export licences for military or paramilitary equipment to Libya will not be issued unless they fit within one of the exceptions set out in the Embargo (for example, if an export is humanitarian, or for the media, or for UN peacekeeping).

The removal of head of State immigration exemptions

The Foreign Secretary issued a Direction yesterday removing the exemption from normal UK immigration controls that applied previously to Colonel Qadhafi, and members of his household, as Head of State. This means that Colonel Qadhafi and those forming part of his household will not be able to enter the UK.

This measure has since been supplemented by paragraph 15 of Security Council resolution 1970 (2011), which requires all UN Member States to take the necessary measures to prevent the entry into or transit though their territories of named individuals list in Annex I of the resolution.