Foreign secretary to lay out new Sanctions Act in Parliament
Foreign secretary Dominic Raab is set to lay out the UK’s new sanctions framework which will come into force after Brexit, by naming the first offenders whose assets will be frozen.
The UK has previously imposed sanctions collectively alongside the EU or the UN, but is now planning to impose sanctions independently after Brexit upon individuals accused of human rights violations.
Raab will put legislation to trigger the new autonomous sanctions regime before MPs, and it will target people and organisations who are accused of committing human rights abuses or profiteering from them.
Any who are this week named by the foreign secretary in the introduction to the new framework will have their assets in the UK frozen and will be unable to enter the country.
According to the Foreign Office, this will mark the first time that the UK has imposed sanctions for human rights abuses under its own unique framework.
A Foreign Office spokesperson added that the regime will enable the UK to “work independently with allies such as the US, Canada, Australia and the European Union.”
The spokesperson said: “Future targets of the regime may include those who commit unlawful killings perpetrated against journalists and media workers, or activity motivated on the grounds of religion or belief.”
Raab himself also said: "From today, the UK will have new powers to stop those involved in serious human rights abuses and violations from entering the UK, channelling money through our banks and profiting from our economy.
"We will not let those who seek to inflict pain and destroy the lives of innocent victims benefit from what the UK has to offer."
Raab’s initial list of offenders is likely to include people from Russia, Saudi Arabia and North Korea, but not China at this stage.
UK-Sino relations are currently tense following China’s introduction of a new national security law in the former British territory of Hong Kong, which many MPs and members of the government have called a violation of the Joint Declaration which saw rule in the region transferred to China in 1997.