A senior legal adviser to the Council of the European Union has told the UK Parliament that the number of EU-sanctioned individuals and entities may decrease as a result of Brexit.

Michael Bishop, a member of the Legal Service of the Council of the European Union (the EU body in charge of imposing sanctions), made his remarks when giving evidence to a session of the House of Lords EU Justice committee on 11 October 2016.

Bishop also noted that “the UK has contributed enormously to the substance and quality of improvements in the sanctions process“, and that “without the UK, a very valuable input in terms of quality could be lost unless other ways are found of preserving it.”  His remarks were echoed by Maya Lester QC, who gave evidence at the same session.

Officials from the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office noted earlier in the session that while the UK remains an EU Member State, it will remain fully committed to the sanctions process, and that sanctions remain “an important tool” in foreign policy.  However, they did not outline the mechanisms by which sanctions will be imposed by the UK after Brexit.

A video of the entire session, which also included questions regarding the processes used by the Council of the European Union in imposing and removing sanctions, is available at http://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/ca7d44ac-709c-4292-8440-b68e339c94f8.


Jessica's practice focuses on international trade and anti-bribery work, encompassing customs, export control and sanctions matters. Jessica's trade work includes advising international clients on fast-moving and evolving EU and UN sanctions, notably in respect of Iran and Russia, and on compliance with UK and EU export controls. Her trade experience also includes advising on tariff classification and customs valuations. Jessica's anti-bribery experience includes assisting with investigations, and advising clients on compliance with anti-bribery laws. Jessica has also taken a lead role in monitoring Brexit-related developments; analysing how they will affect the UK's trading position generally, and clients' businesses specifically. She has helped clients begin to conduct risk assessments of how Brexit will impact their businesses, and has assisted them in developing tailored Brexit strategies. Jessica also presents at various seminars, webinars, and conferences on the complexities of Brexit. Jessica advises global clients on complex issues arising from international transactions and works with clients across a number of sectors including pharmaceuticals, defence, finance, aviation, energy, and telecommunications. Jessica has also worked previously in Paris, and is fluent in French.

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