Britain is getting ready to exercise a new post-Brexit sanctions framework, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab planning to freeze the assets of citizens from Libya, North Korea, Russia, and other countries the UK deems responsible for human rights violations, the Financial Times reported.
According to insiders cited by the edition, individuals targeted by the new wave of sanctions, may also include citizens of Saudi Arabia – the country responsible for murder “under international human rights law", per a UN report by Agnes Callamard, a UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions released in June.
The new British sanctions regime is expected to take legal force next month, immediately after Brexit, closely followed by a detailed list of people whose assets in the UK will be frozen and who will be denied entry visas.
Raab, previously a human rights lawyer, claims the UK’s departure from the EU, which is due to meet the 31 January deadline given the Common’s approval of the bill, will allow Britain to double down on tackling human rights abuses, to effectively show that it is capable of fulfilling a leadership role even post-Brexit.
The foreign chief stressed Britain’s delight about the possibility of joining efforts with countries such as Canada and the US, which have long been exercising their sanctions policies, to form a sort of productive western sanctions coalition.
“Our shared mission in the world is not confined to trade and security — it’s also a joint mission to serve as a force for good", he said after talks in Montreal. “We’ll collaborate closely with Canada to hold to account those responsible for the worst human rights abuses around the world".
Earlier in 2018, Britain first introduced its sanctions act, which outlines a post-Brexit regime enabling the country to impose economic, trade, and immigration restrictions after its departure from the EU. The bloc’s foreign ministers, for their part, started work on a so-called European “Magnitsky Act” targeting human rights perpetrators last month.