A senior legal adviser to the Council of the European Union has told the UK Parliament that the number of EU-sanctioned individuals and entities may decrease as a result of Brexit.

Michael Bishop, a member of the Legal Service of the Council of the European Union (the EU body in charge of imposing sanctions), made his remarks when giving evidence to a session of the House of Lords EU Justice committee on 11 October 2016.

Bishop also noted that “the UK has contributed enormously to the substance and quality of improvements in the sanctions process“, and that “without the UK, a very valuable input in terms of quality could be lost unless other ways are found of preserving it.” His remarks were echoed by Maya Lester QC, who gave evidence at the same session.

Officials from the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office noted earlier in the session that while the UK remains an EU Member State, it will remain fully committed to the sanctions process, and that sanctions remain “an important tool” in foreign policy. However, they did not outline the mechanisms by which sanctions will be imposed by the UK after Brexit.

A video of the entire session, which also included questions regarding the processes used by the Council of the European Union in imposing and removing sanctions, is available at http://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/ca7d44ac-709c-4292-8440-b68e339c94f8.