Skip to main content

Foreign Lobbying Bill and Economic Crime Bill

Volume 709: debated on Wednesday 2 March 2022

Q12. What assessment he has made of the viability of a potential (a) foreign lobbying Bill and (b) economic crime Bill. (905808)

I thank my hon. Friend for his question. We are carefully reviewing responses to our recent consultation on a range of legislative proposals to counter state threats, including foreign agents registration. We will update Parliament in due course.

I would like to thank the Ukrainian ambassador. Dobryi den, druh mii, shanovnyi posol. Diakuiu, diakuiu vashomu narodu. Slava Ukraini! [Translation: Good day, my friend, dear Ambassador. Thank you, and thank you to your people. Glory to Ukraine!]

Key oligarchs enforce the Kremlin’s hybrid conflict. In Britain, one of its aims is to ensure safe passage for money flows offshore, while law firms intimidate into silence those who would investigate, be it the media or even the National Crime Agency. Does the Prime Minister understand that this is how state corruption happens, and that this is systemic, planned subversion? Does he realise the seriousness of what has been happening to the law firms and finance companies in recent years?

My hon. Friend raises a very important point. Law firms in this country are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. They were reminded on 23 February of the need to comply with sanctions regulations and legislation, and there are regular checks to ensure that they are doing so. They have responsibilities under that regime to safeguard the UK and to protect the reputation of the United Kingdom legal services industry. Clearly they will face sanctions if they fail to do so.