Sanctions under Brexit

UK Parliament inquiry launched: Sanctions policy after Brexit

The UK House of Lords EU External Affairs Sub-Committee is looking into the UK sanctions policy to explore what key issues might arise in light of Brexit.

Status of inquiry: UK sanctions policy after Brexit

The EU implements all sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council (UNSC). In addition, the EU may reinforce UNSC sanctions by applying additional measures or imposing autonomous sanctions. The current process includes the Council imposing EU sanctions through Council Decisions, which are then adopted by the member states by unanimity. 

This new UK inquiry will explore what key issues on sanctions policies might arise in light of Brexit, the benefits of future cooperation between the UK and the EU on sanctions policy, and in detail, how such cooperation might take place.

Sanctions – arms embargoes, asset freezes, visa or travel bans, and trade embargoes – are one of the European Union’s tools to promote the objectives of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP): peace, democracy and respect for the rule of law, human rights, and international law.

To prepare for global trade and UK sanctions policies following Brexit, the House of Lords EU Committee and its six Sub-Committees are currently conducting a coordinated series of short inquiries looking at the key issues that will arise in the forthcoming negotiations on Brexit. Areas of focus in the inquiry include:

  • Advantages and disadvantages of future cooperation between the UK and EU on sanctions policy
  • How such cooperation might take place
  • Examples of EU coordination with non–member states on sanctions
  • Current sanctions regime and how it will be transposed into UK law, including through the Great Repeal Bill
  • Impact of separate UK sanctions regime on UK's ability to achieve its foreign policy goals

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