Foreign Secretary Liz Truss says the UK will be able to sanction ‘hundreds’ of Russian oligarchs from next Tuesday if MPs agree to the Government’s tough new Economic Crime Bill
- The Government is crashing its Economic Crime Bill though Parliament this week
- The legislation includes new measures to strengthen the UK’s sanction powers
- Liz Truss said if laws are passed the Government will be able to act on March 15
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss today said the Government will be able to sanction ‘hundreds’ of Russian oligarchs from Tuesday next week if MPs agree to a proposed new crackdown on ‘dirty money’.
The Government intends to crash its Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill through Parliament this week.
The legislation contains a raft of new measures designed to bolster the UK’s sanctions regime and strengthen its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Ms Truss said if the legislation makes its way through the House of Commons and the House of Lords by Monday March 14 ‘we will be able to sanction the hundreds of individuals by next Tuesday’.
The UK has faced criticism over the speed and breadth of the sanctions it has announced, with some of its international partners having gone further and acted faster.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss today said the Government will be able to sanction ‘hundreds’ of Russian oligarchs from Tuesday next week if MPs agree to a proposed new crackdown on ‘dirty money’
The Government has brought forward amendments to the draft legislation which it said will allow it to impose ‘even harder and faster sanctions’.
The new laws will also make the UK’s sanctions regime more aligned with Britain’s international partners, making it easier to act together.
The Bill is due to be crashed through the Commons in a single day today before then moving to the House of Lords for further scrutiny.
The Government is hoping to have the legislation on the statute book by the start of next week.
Ms Truss told the Foreign Affairs Select Committee this afternoon: ‘The Economic Crime Bill is introduced today.
‘If Parliament passes the legislation by Monday March 14, we will be able to sanction the hundreds of individuals by next Tuesday, the 15th of March.’
Ms Truss said that currently sanctions laws in the EU, Canada and the US are ‘less onerous’ than the ones in the UK.
Introducing the Bill in the Commons this afternoon, Home Secretary Priti Patel said the legislation ‘will send a very strong signal that the UK will not be home for corruption’.
She said: ‘Putin is a gangster and his regime is underpinned by a mob of oligarchs and kleptocrats who have abused the financial system and the rule of law for too long.
‘Putin’s cronies have hidden dirty money in the UK and across the West and we do not want it here. Expediting this legislation, which I know this whole House supports, will mean that we can crack down on the people who abuse the UK’s open society.
‘We of course, by accelerating this legislation, are concentrating on the sharpest tools that we can bring, the powers that we can bring into force in the most focused time. By expediting this legislation it will send a very strong signal that the UK will not be home for corruption.
‘This will be about hurting Putin and his vicious regime which has robbed the Russian people not only of their chance for democracy, peace and prosperity, but actually even their own wealth has been used and abused by these kleptocrats and oligarchs.’
Ms Patel also said the Government will bring forward a second Economic Crime Bill in the next parliamentary session with further measures ‘because we simply cannot get all the measures in right now’.
She said: ‘We’ve focused on the ones that will have the greatest impact and the greatest enablement.’