Motion to Approve
My Lords, before I introduce this SI debate, I want to express on behalf of my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary his response to the horrific events in France today. He issued the following statement:
“The United Kingdom stands with France today in sorrow, shock and solidarity at the horrifying events in Nice. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and we offer every support to the French people in pursuing those responsible for this appalling attack.”
I am sure those sentiments resonate with everyone in your Lordships’ House.
I turn to the instrument before us. It was laid on 16 September under the powers provided by the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. It will aid the investigation and prevention of terrorist financing; prevent designated persons acting as charity trustees and managing or operating sensitive financial enterprises; and enable the effective implementation of legal, operational and regulatory measures for combating terrorist financing.
We have also laid alongside this draft instrument a Section 46 report. The report is required when new regulations are made under Section 45 of the sanctions Act to amend sanctions regulations made for a discretionary purpose under Section 1 of the sanctions Act. The report details why I consider that the relevant conditions, set out in Section 45 for the use of this power to make amending regulations, are met.
The purpose of the instrument is to add new provisions to three existing 2019 regulations relating to counterterrorism sanctions. These new provisions in the 2019 regulations will in turn make amendments to several other pieces of primary and secondary legislation to replace and update references to counterterrorism sanctions legislation. That needs to be done to ensure that the new counterterrorism sanctions framework established by the 2019 sanctions regulations delivers substantially the same policy effects as the existing sanctions regimes after the end of the transition period.
The three regulations amended by this instrument, collectively known as the 2019 regulations, are the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida (United Nations Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, made on 5 March 2019; the Counter-Terrorism (International Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, made on 14 March 2019; and the Counter-Terrorism (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, also made on 14 March 2019. The provisions of primary legislation that will ultimately be amended by the 2019 regulations as a result of the amendments made by this instrument are Section 49(3) of the sanctions Act and Section 178 of the Charities Act 2011.
I shall provide further details: Section 49 of the sanctions Act confers a power on the appropriate Minister to make regulations for the purpose of enabling or facilitating the detection, investigation, or prevention of terrorist financing. This will, for example, enable the Government to amend or update the existing Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017, which currently include measures to tackle terrorist financing.
Section 49(3) defines “terrorist financing” by references to other pieces of legislation. The amendments made by this instrument will remove references to offences under regulations being revoked by the 2019 regulations and add references to new offences under the 2019 regulations. That will ensure that the definition of “terrorist financing” is up to date and can be used in reference to current legislation. It also means that Her Majesty’s Government can use the power in Section 49 of the sanctions Act to facilitate the prevention, detection or investigation of terrorist financing, following the revocation of a number of the current offences by the 2019 regulations.
Appallingly, there are occasions when charities are abused for the purpose of financing terror. To reduce the risk of such abuse occurring, Section 178 of the Charities Act 2011 disqualifies individuals who present a known risk from serving as a charity trustee or a charity senior manager—that is, the chief executive, finance director or their equivalent. The amendments made by this instrument will remove references to persons designated under regulations being revoked and add references to persons designated under any of the 2019 regulations.
I am sure many noble Lords will agree that this is a technical update to ensure that legislation on charities and financial services can continue to deliver the same policy effects after the end of the transition period. It will prevent those designated under these sanctions regulations being able to act as charity trustees or charity senior managers.
The amendments to the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 and Payment Services Regulations 2017 prevent the registration of a small electronic money institution or a small payment institution where any of the individuals responsible for the management or operation of the business have been convicted of an offence under the Counter-Terrorism (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. This prevents persons convicted of terrorist financing offences managing or operating these sensitive enterprises.
The consequential amendment to the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 provides that the definition of “terrorist financing” used in those regulations refers to the new offences in the Counter-Terrorism (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. This amendment will ensure that the Government are able to continue to promote the effective implementation of legal, operational and regulatory measures for combating terrorist financing once the 2019 regulations are in force. The instrument represents the first use of the powers under Section 54(3) and (4) of the sanctions Act to amend the definition of “terrorist financing” in Section 49(3) of the sanctions Act. It will not come into force until a later date or dates to be appointed separately.
This instrument thus forms a necessary part of the programme of work being undertaken by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in conjunction with other Whitehall departments to construct an effective and robust UK sanctions framework under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. The counterterrorism sanctions framework includes financial, trade and immigration sanctions. It is a key element of the UK’s counterterrorist financing strategy and remains a major disruptive and preventive tool in the global fight against terrorism. We will continue to work closely with our Five Eyes and other international partners to help combat threats to the international financial system and the charity sector.
The United Kingdom, let me assure noble Lords, is working closely with the Financial Action Task Force, the G20, G7 and EU partners to disrupt terrorist financing. There is a particular focus on: reducing domestic terrorist fundraising; the movement of terrorist finance across borders; and the fundraising and movement of terrorist finance overseas. International counterterrorism sanctions regimes are an essential, practical weapon in disrupting terrorism. They also demonstrate international resolve.
The UK has a strong reputation for tackling terrorism, supported by our robust legislative framework. We will of course continue to strengthen our approach to countering terrorism by ensuring we have the correct range of disruptive tools and capabilities at our disposal, including our sanctions and counterterrorist financing frameworks. This instrument will ensure that these remain functional and effective. I beg to move.
My Lords, I thank the Minister for the expert and diligent way in which he explained these regulations. I welcome them and I take the opportunity to welcome the noble Baroness, Lady Hoey, to this House. I am sure her voice will be heard regularly. Our paths have diverged considerably since we worked together as young Labour parliamentary candidates 40 years ago, but I am sure she will make a big contribution.
Will the Government impose sanctions on the former South African business brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta, who were responsible for looting from South African taxpayers around 7 billion rand, or around £350 million sterling, which was laundered abroad through British-based banks such as HSBC, Standard Chartered and the Bank of Baroda? The Minister may say that the current Magnitsky-type sanctions in our legislation focus upon human rights rather than financial crime, but in this case the two are indelibly interconnected. For example, looting from a government-funded project for poor farmers in the Orange Free State in South Africa left them penniless and unemployed, with massive damage to their rights and freedom simply to live—and London’s financial system was complicit.
Human rights are not just constitutional and civil but social and economic, especially when they are attacked by financial crime, as in this case. I have raised this repeatedly before and have still had no formal reply on the Financial Conduct Authority investigation into HSBC, triggered by my letters to the Chancellor in September and October 2017. I introduced a whistleblower to the Financial Conduct Authority but still have no idea what the outcome was. If the Minister is not able to respond in detail this afternoon, can he please write to me answering the points I have made?
I too thank the Minister for his very thorough introduction. My question is very simple. We are still in negotiation with the European Union about the continuation of agreements between us and it after Brexit. Can the Minister give us an assurance, as I hope he will be able to, that the regulations we are about to approve will function properly if we withdraw from any co-operation agreements we have with the European Union about criminality in general, as opposed to money laundering and terrorism? Unless they do, I cannot see the reach of these new regulations extending worldwide, as I believe it must, since terrorism is a worldwide disease and not confined to the United Kingdom.
My Lords, I thank my noble friend for introducing these sanctions and for making the statement in regard to the atrocities today in France. I also take this opportunity to welcome the noble Baroness, Lady Hoey, to this House and wish her many happy years of service in this place. I look forward very much to hearing her maiden speech.
My noble friend the Minister will be aware that terrorism knows no borders. My question is not dissimilar to that from the noble Lord, Lord Bradshaw. Is my noble friend absolutely convinced that the regulations we are approving today will, in and of themselves, provide him with all the tools at the disposal of the Foreign Office and the other departments to which he has referred? They will need them. The most effective action in controlling the financing of terrorism, which we have traditionally followed, has been through the UN; much more recently, in the last 40 or 50 years, it has of course been through the European Union. Will he assure me this afternoon that, even though we have left the European Union, we will work completely at one and closely with its members, in addition to the Five Eyes?
The atrocities in France, today and recently, have taught us that we must be ever vigilant for terrorist attacks, while recognising that perpetrators may travel freely across borders. I believe it is incumbent on us to work closely with our nearest neighbours in that regard.
I am sure this is kept under constant review. However, in addition to the regulations before us today, will my noble friend repeat the assurance that we will keep these regulations—and others flowing from the 2018 and 2019 measures—under constant review? I have one particular concern: to try to close down the channels of communication used by what appear to be sole perpetrators, such as in the recent attacks in France. Can my noble friend and his department address the possibility of cutting down these channels of communication, to make it less likely that these sole perpetrators will be in a position to act?
My Lords, it is a pleasure and an honour to make my short maiden speech today. Having spent 30 years in the House of Commons, I am well aware of the differences between the two Houses. I shall try very hard not to bring any of the worst practices from that House into your Lordships’ House. Many things have changed here in the past few months but one thing that has certainly not changed is the great welcome given to all new Peers. I thank all of your Lordships for your friendship, kindness and help over the past few weeks. The staff have been absolutely wonderful. I particularly thank the staff who are working here: the cleaners, the catering staff, the attendants and the doorkeepers. I am sure I have left some out but all the people who are actually here make such a difference to our lives, and I thank them.
I obviously want to thank the supporters of my introduction, the noble Baroness, Lady Mallalieu, who I worked with closely in her capacity as president of the Countryside Alliance, and the noble Lord, Lord Elton, who I worked closely with on Zimbabwean issues. Of course, today he announced his retirement after 47 years in your Lordships’ House. I was very honoured that his last appearance was to introduce me to your Lordships’ House. I am sure we all wish him and Lady Elton the very happiest of retirements after 47 years.
I am very proud of my Northern Ireland upbringing on a small farm in County Antrim, which is why I have Lylehill and Rathlin as territorial designations. Lylehill Primary School, a two-teacher country school, was where I had a wonderful start to my education, and the Presbyterian church, the oldest one in Northern Ireland, was where my parents were married and I sung in the choir and first worshipped. Rathlin Island, the only inhabited island off the coast of Northern Ireland, with 120 full-time residents, thousands of seabirds and a lot of peace and tranquillity, is probably best known to your Lordships as the place where one islander, my late and great friend Tommy Cecil, rescued Richard Branson when his balloon came down after crossing the Atlantic.
This is clearly a very important instrument; it is technical, as the Minister has said, but, undoubtedly, without it, we would not have a fully functioning set of terrorism sanction regimes. I support it fully. I have a particular interest in this issue, coming from Northern Ireland. We have to do all we can to make the life of any terrorist as difficult as possible. Northern Ireland suffered so much from years of terrorism, and so much of it was funded by money laundering and organised crime. Added to that was the Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism, which resulted in atrocities such as the Enniskillen Remembrance Sunday bomb, the Harrods bomb on the mainland and many others.
When we talk about any terrorist outrage, we must remember the victims—some dead, sadly, but many wounded, disabled and deeply traumatised. That is why I support the attempt to win justice from the frozen assets of the Libyan Government in London—some £12 billion, from which the taxes alone bring in around £5 million a year to the Treasury. William Shawcross has done a report on all of this, and I hope it can be released soon, because the victims deserve transparency. It is also right that to counter terrorism, we give the Treasury the power to impose financial sanctions on designated persons involved in terrorism, and that should apply equally to Northern Ireland.
The victims of terror have waited a long time for justice, and we need to have a morally sound, consistent approach to all terrorism, whether it is related to Northern Ireland, Al-Qaeda or anything else. All innocent victims should matter and not be equated in law with those who injure themselves trying to murder others, as is the law in Northern Ireland. That must change.
Finally, does the Minister agree that all in this House should view it as a considerable achievement on the part of everyone in his department and the officials that on 31 December at 11 pm, all the European Union sanctions measures will become UK sanctions measures, and we will regain control over this vital foreign policy tool?
I look forward to participating further in your Lordships’ House and particularly to finding ways in which your Lordships’ House can prepare to mark the centenary, in 2021, of Northern Ireland—or, as the wonderful supporters of the Northern Ireland football team I am so proud to support call it, our wee country.
My Lords, it is a great pleasure to follow the maiden speech of my distinguished friend of almost 40 years. Kate and I go back to the early 80s; I knew her as a parliamentary candidate in Dulwich, I knew her as the MP for Vauxhall, elected on European election day in 1989, and I have known her as a friend all the way through, despite the fact that for at least half that time, I have been a member of the Conservative Party. Before that, I was in the same party that she used to belong to. So, we both moved, you might say.
I recall that when Kate was a candidate, the slogan we had was that she would “hit the ground running,” because sport has always been an important part of her life. Indeed, she was the first woman to be Minister for Sport in this country, and she has always championed sport. She had a career with Tottenham Hotspur youth and helping young people to appreciate sport, and for eight years she was adviser to the Mayor of London—a long and distinguished career.
She has also been unafraid to embrace controversial issues. I remember agreeing with her that the foxes around the dustbins of Vauxhall were of more concern than those being chased around the fields of Kent. I still happen to feel that way, and I was pleased to go on the Countryside Alliance marches years ago. She has a long record of being prepared to stand up for what she believes in; Vauxhall was very lucky to be represented by her.
Europe is the one area where Kate and I have never agreed, but we have come nearer to agreement now. In the run-up to the last election, I consistently queried the referendum result and said that I thought the circumstances of the referendum were dubious. I asked for another referendum, or an election to sort out the matter. We had an election, and it is quite clear that I lost. In a democracy, on occasion, you have to accept that you lose. I am not going to oppose the Government. I welcome the Government’s work and the Minister’s; he has had to do a lot of detailed work to do transposing all these European regulations into UK law, and I wish him well with that.
I endorse strongly the point that my noble friend Lady Hoey made about victims of terror. We have tended too much to conflate the victims of terror with the perpetrators. The victims had no choice: they were gunned down, blown up and lost their lives. The perpetrators of terror, whatever else can be said, knew what they were doing. There is a big difference.
It is a pleasure to follow the noble Lord, Lord Balfe, in this important debate. I would also like to take the opportunity to welcome the noble Baroness, Lady Hoey, to your Lordships’ House. Both of us are from Northern Ireland. We have divergent views on Northern Ireland and on Europe. Notwithstanding that, I welcome her, as I knew her in the other place.
I would also like to thank the Minister for his explanation of these regulations, which will be robust sanctions to prevent money laundering and terrorism. Coming from Northern Ireland, I am only too well aware of the role of money laundering in terrorism, how pernicious it has been and how invasive that level of terrorism has been. Today, we saw evidence of probable international terrorism at work in the brutal murder of three people in the south of France, in Nice—a lady at prayer practically beheaded. Such terrorist acts require immediate action from government.
I have some questions I would like to ask the Minister. The noble Baroness, Lady McIntosh of Pickering, and the noble Lord, Lord Bradshaw, asked if these measures would be effective when dealing with our colleagues in the European Union. Would they still afford the same levels of co-operation and work, and would they be as effective as the original regulations under the EU regime?
What will be the relationship with the EU countries in working to address the money laundering and terrorism activities that impact on liberal democracies such as France and Britain? What level of co-operation will continue to exist? The Minister said that there would be ongoing work with the G20, the G7 and the EU. Notwithstanding the need to preserve confidentiality, can he define that work and the extent to which police forces throughout the UK, the EU and the wider world will liaise to gather intelligence in order to combat money laundering and terrorist actions?
I disagree with the idea of charities being used to launder money for terrorism purposes, because, in many instances, those who work for and contribute to charities are not aware of such actions.
My Lords, it is a pleasure to follow the noble Baroness, Lady Ritchie of Downpatrick; I look forward to hearing the Minister answer her questions. I also welcome the noble Baroness, Lady Hoey. Her speech was very good, especially when she mentioned not bringing bad habits from the other place—we do occasionally see those, and it is great that she is not going to do that.
I have three queries for the Minister. Will he set out how the Government will apply sanctions to illegitimate regimes where the ruler refuses to leave office after being defeated in a democratic election? Secondly, I am sure that the Government have paid attention to Donald Trump’s consistent refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses next week’s election. Have the Government made plans for what they will do, diplomatically and economically, if Donald Trump loses and refuses to leave office? Thirdly, in that situation, will the Government stand up for democracy and the rule of law by applying sanctions to Donald Trump, the Trump family and The Trump Organization? They could, of course, freeze the Trump assets in the UK, such as the Turnberry golf course, until the President peacefully transfers power.
My Lords, I read in the Explanatory Notes that an impact assessment has not been made
“as no, or no significant, impact on the private, voluntary or public sectors is foreseen.”
That is good, but it is also important for us to appreciate that that is the situation. Section 49 of the sanctions Act covers the investigation of terrorist financing. That is just technical wording but it has been mentioned as being so important—I think it certainly is—that we should do everything to prevent money laundering and the awful crimes and abuses associated with it. I strongly support these regulations.
My Lords, we on these Benches associate ourselves with the statement made by the Minister in relation to the horrendous events in France. I thank him for introducing these statutory instruments, which we support. I congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Hoey, on her maiden speech. I share with her an upbringing on a small farm, in my case on the South Downs: it is there in my title, which is “of Cissbury”. The amount of mud that we probably ingested as children will, I hope, stand us in good stead at this time of pandemic.
We are obviously glad that the sanctions keep us aligned with the EU, but I want to probe the implications, raised by my noble friend Lord Bradshaw and the noble Baroness, Lady McIntosh, of sharing security information, which is clearly critical if we are to have a proper understanding of terrorism and the threats to us. On our alignment with the EU, what discussions are we having with the EU about the Magnitsky sanctions? Are we now looking at China in that regard? We are waiting to hear what is going to happen in terms of financial affairs and whether they will be applied here. When should we expect to see proposals in this area? What systematic arrangements will the Government put in place so that the proposals for sanctions can be properly and independently assessed?
The new sanctions impose asset freezes and travel bans on individuals and organisations involved in human rights abuses. It is, as the noble Lord says, appalling when charities are used for terrorist purposes, but what system is in place to review these and also sanctions in general? I realise that he cannot comment on specific individuals but can he say whether investigations that may lead to us wanting to implement further sanctions are under way? I realise that this is somewhat outside the scope of these regulations, but the noble Lord, Lord Hain, and, most ingenuously, the noble Baroness, Lady Jones—I really look forward to the Minister’s response in regard to the United States—have both taken the sanctions wider, and I want to flag something. I do not expect a response, but I hope that he will feed in whether consideration is now being given to those who may have been responsible for the recent atrocities in Cameroon.
Can the Minister also update us on whether we are getting support in the region for the actions we are taking here, where many of these operatives are? Have we found ways, which we found challenging before, of ensuring that money can, for example, go to Syrian humanitarian organisations, so that they are not caught up in the sanctions challenges? As we deal with sanctions going forward, we need to make sure that they are carefully and independently evaluated so that immediate political priorities do not push them away in relation to certain countries, with undue focus elsewhere. I look forward to hearing the Minister’s response.
My Lords, I, too, begin by echoing the comments of the Minister in relation to the terrible events in Nice. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, and, of course, to the nation of France as a whole.
We welcome the Government’s attempts to maintain counterterrorism sanctions after the transition period, and we welcome this statutory instrument. Sanctions are a central tool to keep the UK safe and the Government must ensure that the necessary framework is watertight. Of course, the Government have a lot more to do to make our sanctions regime more effective, including the extension of the Magnitsky powers.
I want to make a small point: these regulations deal entirely with supplementing the 2019 regulations that stem from the Act that we took through this House together. Can the Minister explain why the provisions in these regulations were not in the 2019 regulations? Why have we had to revisit this matter twice? I am not having a pop at the Minister; I would just like an explanation.
I want to pick up on a point made by my noble friend Lord Hain. The Minister will recall that we have pushed him on many occasions in this House about the extension of the Magnitsky powers to apply to corruption. We have heard commitments from the Government that this is on their agenda and that there is a timetable—or not a timetable but a hope—for something to happen in future. I hope that the Minister can today be a little more explicit that we will commit to the extension of the Magnitsky powers to corruption and that there is a definite timetable.
I am sure that all noble Lords appreciate that sanctions can really be effective only when they are taken in concert with others. There is no point in having independent sanctions, in terms of making them effective, if no other country joins us. I pick up on the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Bradshaw, and the noble Baronesses, Lady McIntosh of Pickering and Lady Northover, that we need to understand better from the Government just how, at the end of the transition period, we will work in concert with our EU partners and neighbours. How will we ensure that our sanctions regime remains robust and has integrity? I hope that the Minister can give some indication that this matter will be properly dealt with when we hear the final terms of any potential agreement.
The report also notes that sanctions are only a part of a broader strategy in the fight against terrorism. This includes supporting UN resolutions and the UN’s special rapporteur on terrorism. Can the Minister give a bit more detail about the Government’s priorities for the UK’s representatives at the United Nations in combating terrorism? Are we looking at new mechanisms?
Finally, I congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Hoey, on her excellent maiden speech. As she rightly said, it is not her first in the Palace of Westminster, and I am sure we shall hear more from her in future.
My Lords, I thank all noble Lords for their contributions and for their support for these regulations. I join with other noble Lords in warmly welcoming the noble Baroness, Lady Hoey, and in congratulating her on her excellent speech. We learned from my noble friend Lord Balfe of her connections with Tottenham Hotspur. I am sure we shall have animated debates, as I am a Liverpool fan—the accent is a bit of a giveaway. She will be an incredibly powerful contributor to our debates. Her speech today showed important insights into the detail of the subject matter being discussed. I often describe your Lordships’ House as a place of wit and wisdom. Knowing the noble Baroness, I am sure she will make high-quality contributions on both these fronts.
I also welcome the contributions and support of other noble Lords in this important debate. I totally concur with the noble Baroness, Lady Northover, and the noble Lord, Lord Collins; it will be no surprise if I repeat something that I have said to them both within and outside the Chamber. I agree that sanctions and their application—whether in the context of counterterrorism or any other area—work effectively only when they are taken in lock-step with other key partners.
I want to pick up specifically on some of the key points raised by the noble Lord, Lord Bradshaw, my noble friend Lady McIntosh of Pickering and the noble Baroness, Lady Ritchie. Existing regulations will continue to operate and apply to the UK during the remaining part of the transition period. We continue to work with the EU and member states to ensure that all EU sanctions are implemented and enforced. The noble Lord, Lord Collins, also raised these issues. We are working closely with our European partners, not just on sanctions but in other areas as well. Specifically, on sanctions, I am in constant touch with my opposite numbers within the European Commission. We also have discussions with leaders and representatives of other Governments within the EU. As recent alignment has shown, we work closely on matters of international co-operation, particularly through the E3 mechanism.
The noble Lord, Lord Collins, asked about the United Nations and our priorities there. He will know that there is a particular Under-Secretary-General responsible for counterterrorism. I am in discussions with our representatives in New York to see how we can further strengthen the UK’s broad interests. I will take into account the noble Lord’s suggestions on how we move forward in this area. The sad events in France once again indicate the vulnerability of dealing with such acts. My noble friend Lady McIntosh made the point about people who operate using new channels of communication. I agree with her—we need to be one step ahead. The terrorist mindset is always looking at new and innovative ways to challenge and defeat those who unite against extremism and terrorism. As events have shown, this remains a live issue. We send our condolences to the families of those attacked in France today. We have learned that the attack happened in a church—a place of worship. Any terrorist attack is appalling, but this compounds the impact.
I am grateful to my noble friend Lord Balfe and welcome his support and that of the noble Baroness, Lady Ritchie, for these regulations. I can assure them again that we shall work closely with EU counterparts. On UN sanctions, we work internationally. I pre-empted a question from the noble Baroness, Lady Northover, when I mentioned international partners, by alluding specifically to the European Union. Now that we have left the European Union, it will be important for us to continue to align ourselves with liberal democracies across Europe. That sends a powerful message on sanctions and other areas of work.
I was not surprised by a couple of the references from the noble Lord, Lord Hain—I somewhat expected them. The noble Lord, Lord Collins also asked about corruption, particularly in the context of the Magnitsky sanctions. I can assure both noble Lords and the House that we are considering how a corruption regime can be added to our current armoury of legal weapons. The Magnitsky global human rights sanctions are an obvious one. I can also assure the noble Lord, Lord Collins, that we are looking specifically at the framework of the UN Convention against Corruption and I have had meetings to this effect. We are also looking at other jurisdictions such as the United States and Canada which already apply these sanctions. As details emerge, I will share them with your Lordships’ House.
The noble Baroness, Lady Jones of Moulescoomb, in her customary way, raised a number of questions about illegitimate regimes which may seek not to take on board the sanctions being applied. It depends on the situation as to whether sanctions are likely to be effective in achieving our foreign policy aims. The global human rights sanctions are a good example in that they specifically target movement and financing. These are powerful tools, even if an individual or an existing regime somewhere in the world does not accept them. Acting first and foremost as the UK but also in partnership with other countries adds to the strength and application of such tools.
The noble Baroness also referred to the US elections. The United States is a strong friend and ally—it is also a robust democracy. We await the outcome of their elections. The systems in the United States are robust enough to provide an outcome which is both acceptable and legitimate. The strength of a democracy lies in its own operation. It is not for me to comment on the outcome of those elections, but I believe the US is and will remain a vibrant and strong democracy, underpinned by the rule of law.
I thank my noble friend Lady Gardner for her support. She referred to Section 49 as an important part of the Government’s approach in laying these regulations.
The noble Baroness, Lady Hoey, asked about Libya. We are working to have the Libya regime and accompanying guidance ready for the end of the transition period and will provide details of it. I also take on board her important references to the communities in Northern Ireland who have had to endure challenges of their own. We stand in solidarity with all those who have been victims of any kinds of atrocities.
I wish to thank all noble Lords again for their important and supportive contributions. It is not often that I can stand at the Dispatch Box and universally thank every single contributor for their strong support of the Government’s approach. On this occasion it is most welcome. This instrument underlines our common objective to support and protect the United Kingdom and the international financial system, as well as the charity sector to which the noble Baroness, Lady Northover, referred. I can assure her that we work closely with the Charity Commission. Charity law disqualifies certain individuals from being a charity trustee, as set out in the Charities Act 2011. These regulations tie these important pieces of legislation together. I assure her that we look very closely at the work of the Charity Commission, particularly with regard to those NGOs operating in the international sphere.
These regulations will also ensure that the range of disruptive tools and capabilities at our disposal, including our sanctions and counterterrorism financing framework, remain effective. It will aid our global fight against terrorism and contribute to the UK being an even stronger force for good in the world.
Finally, in her maiden speech, the noble Baroness, Lady Hoey, talked of the celebrations in Northern Ireland in 2021. I am sure I speak for all noble Lords here, and beyond, when I say that we look forward to joining with her and other noble Lords in those celebrations. The noble Baroness described it as a “wee country”; I am sure we all regard it as an important country which defines the modern United Kingdom. I beg to move.