The British government published plans on Wednesday (2 August) for a bill that would give it the legal power to impose sanctions after it leaves the European Union, including making it easier to cut off terrorism funding and freeze assets.
Britain now negotiates and imposes non-UN sanctions against specific countries through EU laws. Without the new legislation, it would not have the legal authority to enforce those sanctions.
More than 30 sanctions regimes are currently in place, including against Russia, North Korea and Iran.
“This will enable us to impose sanctions as appropriate either alone or with partners in the EU and around the world, to take targeted action against countries, organisations and individuals who contravene international law, commit or finance terrorism or threaten international peace and security,” Alan Duncan, the minister for Europe, said in a statement.
The new powers would see the introduction of an annual review of sanctions regimes to ensure they remained appropriate. It would also allow individuals and organisations to challenge sanctions imposed on them.
The government said its proposals would also make it easier to freeze a suspected terrorist’s bank account and stop a person from making money from their assets, including by selling a house or car.
Spain to push for Venezuela sanctions
Spain will ask the European Union to apply targeted sanctions against those responsible for the Venezuela crisis, Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis said on Tuesday (1 August).
He was speaking just hours after the arrest of two Venezuelan opposition leaders and just two days after a controversial election which critics of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro say is a desperate bid to cling to power.
“I have decided to get in touch with the high representative (for foreign affairs) to kickstart a process to adopt additional restrictive measures,” Dastis told reporters.
But he cautioned that Spain was against taking economic “sanctions that could affect people” in Venezuela.
They backed “sanctions that can affect those responsible for the current situation” such as travel bans or visa restrictions, he said.