New report shows how UK independent sanctions underpin Global Britain’s role as positive force on world stage

Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad. Photo credit: UK Gov

The UK has published its Annual Sanctions Report for 2021 – detailing for the first time the full extent of its new autonomous sanctions since exiting the European Union.

It comes after the UK established two new autonomous regimes, which allow it to show greater global leadership on sanctions, while acting more in the national interest.

On 6 July 2020, the UK launched the Global Human Rights sanctions regime, a powerful new tool to hold to account those involved in serious human rights violations or abuses. On 26 April 2021 this was followed by the launch of the Global Anti-Corruption sanctions regime, enabling the UK to combat serious corruption around the world and prevent funds from being used to fund conflict, terrorism or organised crime.

Minister responsible for UK sanctions, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, said:

Since the end of the Transition Period, the UK has been pursuing an independent sanctions policy, driven by our foreign policy objectives and projecting the UK as a network of liberty and defender of human rights.

By leaving the EU and moving to an independent sanctions policy, the UK has become more agile and has real autonomy to decide how we use sanctions and where it is in our interests to do so.

The introduction of the UK’s autonomous sanctions regimes, alongside Britain’s implementation of UN sanctions regimes, underpins Global Britain’s role as a positive force on the international stage.

The report shows that in 2021 the UK designated 160 individuals and entities across 13 regimes, launched the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions regime and imposed a significant package of economic sanctions on Belarus. Sanctions imposed in 2021 include:

  • Designations of 108 individuals and 10 entities under the Belarus sanctions regime, as well as a significant package of economic sanctions.
  • Designations of 24 individuals and 9 entities under the Myanmar sanctions regime.
  • Designations of 5 individuals and 3 entities from China, Myanmar and Pakistan under the Global Human Rights sanctions regime.
  • Designations of 27 individuals across the world involved in serious corruption. This included misappropriation of public funds spent on memorabilia including a $275,000 Michael Jackson glove; and ruthless exploitation of public food programmes in Venezuela.

Read the full report.

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