Government proposes bill to freeze terrorist finances post-Brexit

3 Aug 17

The UK government has outlined strengthened laws allowing it shut down terrorist finances and place sanctions on rogue regimes after Brexit.

New powers proposed today yesterday under a Sanctions Bill would grant the UK the legal power to enforce economic sanctions against states and organisations.

At the moment non-UN sanctions are enforced through EU law, without UK legislation on the issue Whitehall would not be able to legally continue its sanction programme, which affects 30 states or groups such as Russia, ISIS, North Korea and Al Qaeda.

Ministers said the new Sanctions Bill will make it easier to cut off funding, freeze assets and block access to bank accounts used by these parties.

Currently the government must 'reasonably believe' a person is or has been involved in terrorism and that freezing their assets is necessary to protect the public.

But under the proposed bill the powers will strenghten the government's powers as they only need to have 'reasonable grounds' - which is a lesser threshold than 'reasonable belief' - of suspicion in order to take action.

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