The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has published a technical note explaining how the UK would implement sanctions if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The FCO states:

  • as required by international law, the UK will implement UN sanctions in UK domestic law after the UK leaves the EU;
  • the UK will carry over all EU sanctions at the time of departure. The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018(the Sanctions Act) will provide the legal basis for the UK to impose, update and lift sanctions after leaving the EU. This will be done in the form of regulations made under it. The FCO aims to lay such legislation before Parliament before March 2019;
  • any sanctions regimes not addressed through regulations under the Sanctions Act by March 2019 will continue as retained EU law under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018. This means there will be no gaps in implementing existing sanctions regimes;
  • the UK will also have the powers to adopt its own sanctions under the Sanctions Act, although it will work with the EU and other international partners on sanctions where there is a  mutual interest;
  • in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the FCO will publish further guidance on sanctions; and
  • firms should not assume that all aspects of existing EU sanctions will be replicated exactly. They should check new legislation to ensure compliance with its requirements, and check future guidance when it is published.