Development of sanctions regime in the UK post Brexit—timeline
Development of sanctions regime in the UK post Brexit—timeline

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Development of sanctions regime in the UK post Brexit—timeline
  • Background to the UK’s decision to leave the EU
  • How do sanctions affect businesses?
  • What impact did Brexit have on the UK sanctions regime?
  • Background to the passing of SAMLA 2018
  • Passing of SAMLA 2018
  • Key provisions of SAMLA 2018
  • Power to create sanctions regulations
  • Human rights ‘Magnitsky’ sanctions provisions
  • Powers to create criminal offences
  • More...

Lawyers and the companies they advise need to understand what their sanctions risks are in order to develop and implement an appropriate compliance strategy. Yet the landscape of sanctions compliance changed as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

Prior to 11 pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day), most of the UK’s sanctions regimes came from the EU, in the form of EU regulations that had direct effect in Member States, with criminal sanctions and licensing regimes established by UK regulations made under the European Communities Act 1972.

The UK’s domestic sanctions regimes were limited to freezing orders made (very exceptionally) under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (ACSA 2001), transactional restrictions directed under the Counter Terrorism Act 2008 (CTA 2008), and counter-terrorism sanctions under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc Act 2010 (TAFA 2010).

Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, a UK domestic legislative framework was needed to retain the UK’s power to impose, amend and enforce sanctions. Although the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EU(W)A 2018) preserved those EU regulations that were in force on exit day as retained EU law, it did not make provision for updates to those regimes or the imposition of new sanctions regimes. The UK decided to introduce a bespoke domestic legislative framework to replace the regimes imposed by the EU

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