The UK releases roadmap, known as the Integrated Review, for its post-Brexit future

The document titled ‘Global Britain in a competitive age’  outlines a vision for a leaner and meaner Britain by 2030—one that is more resilient to threats, more innovative, and more confident in defending its values at home and abroad. The 100-page document outlines the government plans for Britain to become more resilient to threat, more innovative and more confident in defending its values at home and abroad by 2030.

It features a new system of ‘Magnitsky’ sanctions to target human rights violators and abusers around the world. The implication of this is that the UK has new powers to stop those involved in serious human rights abuses and violations from entering the country, channelling money through UK banks, or profiting from our economy.

Also, the measures will target individuals and organisations, rather than nations. The introduction of Magnitsky is the first time that the UK has sanctioned people or entities for human rights violations and abuses under a UK-only regime, and will allow the UK to work independently with allies such as the US, Canada, Australia and the European Union.

As part of these measures, a special unit will consider the use of future sanctions, with teams across the department monitoring human rights issues. They will ensure targets under the landmark regime will have to meet stringent legal tests before the UK decides to designate, ensuring the sanctions are robust and powerful.

The suite of measures can also apply to those who facilitate, incite, promote, or support these violations/abuses, as well as those who financially profit from human rights violations and abuses.

Why is this important for your organisation?

As the UK navigates its post-Brexit future, the Magnitsky sanction regime is a marked departure from business as usual as they emphasise individual accountability.  These sanctions on individuals act as a deterrent to those involved as well as their accomplices who benefit financially from these violations.

Recommendations

  • Individuals especially those associated with the government should ensure their actions do not promote human rights abuses else they risk being sanctions
  • Foreign entities such as law firms and financial institutions closely linked with firms and governments in societies with strong human rights violations need to ensure that their internal control frameworks are robust enough to mitigate sanction risks.

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