Royal Assent for the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act is an important moment for the UK. It is the first of the bills which prepares for life after our exit from the EU to complete its passage through Parliament.
Thanks to this new law, once we have left the EU, we will have full control of our own sanctions policy again. That will give us the power to impose sanctions, including for human rights abuses.
Sanctions are a key foreign policy and national security tool for the UK, and the new legislation will allow the UK to act in line with our own priorities, as well as with our international partners.
It will also provide us with the power to amend and update anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist finance legislation, allowing the Government to keep pace with changing international standards and practices, and help to protect the UK from money laundering and terrorist financing.
While we are leaving the EU, we are not leaving Europe, and we will continue to have shared values, interests, and threats with our European and international partners. This makes continued foreign policy cooperation, including on sanctions, in all our interests.
I’m also proud that we have added a “Magnitsky amendment” to this legislation. The UK Government is committed to promoting and strengthening universal human rights, holding to account those responsible for the worst violations. This legislation also makes clear that individuals or entities can be sanctioned for the purposes of deterring, or providing accountability for, gross human rights abuses or violations.