UK to impose sanctions independently for first time

Dominic Raab Image copyright PA Media Image caption Dominic Raab will outline those who will face sanctions later

Britain will later impose sanctions independently for the first time on dozens of individuals accused of human rights abuses around the world.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will launch the government’s new post-Brexit sanctions regime by naming the first violators to have their assets frozen.

In the past, Britain has almost always imposed sanctions collectively as a member of the United Nations or the European Union.

But after Brexit it can act alone.

Later, Mr Raab will table the final legislation needed to trigger the UK’s new autonomous sanctions regime.

It will target individuals or organisations accused of human rights violations around the world, as well as those who profit financially from those abuses.

The foreign secretary will name several dozen people who will have their assets in the UK frozen and who will also be banned from entering the country.

The first list is expected to include individuals from Russia, Saudi Arabia and North Korea but not, as yet, China.

It comes amid tensions between the UK and China after the Chinese government introduced a new security law in Hong Kong, which Boris Johnson said violated freedoms of the UK’s former colony.

BBC diplomatic correspondent James Landale said the new sanctions regime had been “long in coming, but forms a central plank of the government’s foreign policy ambition to make Britain a global defender

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