Government to set out new sanctions powers for post-Brexit Britain

At present the UK imposes its non-UN sanctions regimes through EU laws. Credit: PA

The government is to introduce new legal powers to impose sanctions after Britain leaves the EU, including making it easier to freeze suspected terrorist funding.

At present Britain imposes its non-UN sanctions regimes through EU laws.

It operates more than 30 sanctions regimes - including against Russia and North Korea - but without the new legislation Brexit would leave the UK without the legal authority to enforce them.

The Sanctions Bill ensures they can remain in place.

"This [Bill] will enable us to impose sanctions as appropriate either alone or with partners in the EU and around the world, to take targeted action against countries, organisations and individuals who contravene international law, commit or finance terrorism or threaten international peace and security," Alan Duncan, the minister for Europe, said in a statement.

Alan Duncan said the Bill will allow the UK to take 'targeted action' against terrorists Credit: PA

Stephen Barclay, economic secretary to the Treasury, said the Bill includes additional powers to block bank accounts and make it easier to freeze the assets of suspected terrorists.

"Our counter terrorist financing proposals will make it easier for law enforcement and government to impose sanctions on those that present a threat to our national or international security," he said.

The Bill will also introduce an annual review of sanctions regimes to ensure they remain appropriate, give individuals and organisations the opportunity to challenge measures imposed on them and enable exemptions when required, for example to deliver humanitarian aid to regions hit by sanctions.

The Sanctions Bill is one of eight Brexit-related pieces of legislation to be brought forward over the next two years.