The UK Foreign Office has indicated that it is preparing to introduce a new targeted sanctions regime immediately after Brexit. The new sanctions regime will enable the UK to freeze the assets of foreign citizens deemed responsible for human rights abuses. It will then be followed by a list of people whose assets will be frozen. The US and Canada already have such arrangements and the EU has indicated that it intends to adopt a similar sanctions regime.

The UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab MP, stated that the UK will implement the regime post-Brexit in a press conference with the Canadian Foreign Minister on 9 January 2019. Raab expressed a willingness to collaborate with Canada on human rights sanctions and stated that the new UK regime is inspired by the Canadian Magnitsky-style sanctions.

The new sanctions regime will be derived from the Sanctions and Money Laundering Act 2018 (see previous blog post on the act here), which was introduced to allow the UK to impose its own economic, trade and immigration sanctions after Brexit. Secondary legislation to establish the regime is expected in February or March.