No Reason Why UK Cannot Take Unilateral National Action On The Basis Of Magnitsky Amendment

The fact that Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have all taken unilateral action, implementing their Magnitsky legislation, clearly demonstrates that there is no reason why the United Kingdom cannot do the same. Government needs to explain why they have not taken unilateral national action.

Stephen Kinnock: The action being taken on money laundering is, of course, very important. However, the Magnitsky amendment relates specifically to violations of human rights. I urge my hon. Friend to take this opportunity to ask the Minister to accept, during his winding-up speech—on the record, from the Dispatch Box—that there is no reason whatever why the United Kingdom cannot take unilateral national action on the basis of the Magnitsky amendment.

Clearly, we would like action to be taken at an EU-wide level, but the fact that Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have all taken unilateral action, implementing their Magnitsky legislation, clearly demonstrates that there is no reason why the United Kingdom cannot do the same. Could we have an explanation of why EU membership has been used as an excuse for total inaction—it is now four months since the Magnitsky amendment was passed? The Government could simply take the list of Russian citizens who have been sanctioned by those other countries under their Magnitsky legislation and use that as a starting point.

​Nick Thomas-Symonds: My hon. Friend asks a sensible question and then makes a sensible, practical suggestion about what the Government could do. The Security Minister is in his place and has heard the point made by my hon. Friend, who made the same point in an intervention on the Minister. If he addressed that issue during his winding-up speech, that would be useful for both sides of the House.

If the Baltic states that my hon. Friend referred to are able as EU members to take unilateral action, why does the Security Minister feel that the UK cannot follow suit? Also, if action has already been taken by EU member states against specific individuals, why can the UK not do the same? If the Minister addressed that in his closing speech, that would be welcome on both sides of the House.