The Government has introduced a new Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill in the House of Lords, the first Bill Parliament will consider relating to post-Brexit arrangements. The Bill is designed to enable the UK to continue to enforce existing EU sanctions against foreign states and terrorist organisations, while also allowing it to impose its own new sanctions independently of the EU in future. Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan has stated that the UK intends to continue to cooperate closely with other European states in this regard, and the Explanatory Notes published with the Bill suggest that the intention is to provide continuity of procedure and approach rather than to make any fundamental changes in UK sanctions practice. A person who is named on a sanctions list will be able to ask the relevant Minister to review that decision and to apply to a court to review the outcome of that request. The court procedures for such reviews will be modelled on those currently in place for financial restrictions proceedings under the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008, including the use of special advocates in respect of closed material, i.e. evidence that is considered too sensitive to be made public.
The Bill also provides powers for the Government to issue new regulations relating to anti-money laundering investigations and enforcement, covering the same scope as existing EU anti-money laundering measure, and to continue to implement standards published by the international Financial Action Task Force to protect the integrity of the international financial system. Again, continuity appears to be the aim.
Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon will be responsible for progressing the Bill through the House of Lords. The next step is the second reading, which gives peers an opportunity to raise any concerns about the Bill and propose amendments before it is examined by a House of Lords Committee. The second reading is expected to take place on 1 November this year.