Statement made by
My Honourable Friend, the Minister for South Asia and the Commonwealth (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon), has made the following written Ministerial statement:
Section 57(3) of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (“the Act”) provides that, if any report required by the Act is not laid before Parliament at the relevant time, the appropriate Minister must publish a written statement explaining the reasons.
On 11 April 2019 the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office laid before Parliament the Sanctions (EU Exit) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 2019/843) (“the correction regulations”) to correct minor errors in a number of sanctions regulations that had been made under the Act during March 2019.
In making the correction regulations, the Minister was required by section 45(2)(b) of the Act to consider in respect of each discretionary purpose (i.e. a purpose which is not in compliance with a UN or any other international obligation) of the sanctions regulations being amended by the correction regulations:
a) that carrying out that purpose would meet one or more of the conditions in paragraphs (a) to (i) of section 1(2) of the Act,
b) that there are good reasons to pursue that purpose, and
c) that the imposition of sanctions is a reasonable course of action for that purpose.
The Minister was further required by section 46(2) of the Act to lay a report before Parliament at the same time as the correction regulations explaining why he was of that opinion that the discretionary purposes had been met.
In this case, the Minister reached the conclusions in respect of section 45(2)(b) for substantially the same reasons as set out in the statutory reports that the Minister had laid before Parliament, in the preceding month, alongside the following Statutory Instruments:
- on 7 March in respect of the Iran (Sanctions) (Nuclear) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 2019/461) (available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019/461/pdfs/uksiod_20190461_en.pdf);
- on 8 March in respect of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 2019/411) (available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019/411/pdfs/uksiod_20190411_en.pdf);
- on 15 March in respect of the Counter-Terrorism (International Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 2019/573) (available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019/573/pdfs/uksiod_20190573_en.pdf).
However, due to a regrettable administrative oversight in the department, the report required by section 46(2) of the Sanctions Act was not laid before Parliament. The responsible department has amended its practices to ensure that all statutory reports are laid before Parliament as required.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords