We previously reported on the inquiry by the House of Lords EU External Affairs Sub-Committee on sanctions policy post-Brexit which took place between April and October 2017. That Committee has now published its report (link here). Maya Lester QC of this blog gave oral and written evidence. There are lots of interesting points in the report (as well as a detailed account of the current sanctions system). Main conclusions are that, in the Committee’s view:
1. It would be desirable for the UK, US and EU to maintain a similar multilateral approach to sanctions policy after Brexit, because their essential interests and threats will not fundamentally change. The UK aligning itself with EU sanctions as a third country (eg Norway) would not permit the UK to influence the design of sanctions, and formal inclusion in EU meetings rather than information cooperation would be the most desirable approach.
2. It is not yet clear what the Government proposes in relation to what it describes as an “unprecedented” UK-EU partnership that it would like on sanctions policy. The Committee suggests that if the UK cannot continue to participate in the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, the Government should propose that a “UK-EU political forum be established, expressly for the discussion and co-ordination of sanctions policy”.
3. This, and the future foreign policy relationship between the UK and EU, should be given urgent consideration. More resources may be required in the UK to develop its own sanctions policy post Brexit.