Why does the UK apply sanctions?

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Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the United KingdomProtect the interests of the European Union and ensure fair competition and continued cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

Although it will in no way match the level of economic integration that existed while the United Kingdom was an EU Member State, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement goes beyond traditional free trade agreements and provides a solid basis for maintaining our long-standing cooperation and friendship.

Furthermore, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement does not cover any decisions regarding equivalences in the area of financial services, the adequacy of the UK’s data protection regime or the assessment of the UK’s sanitary and phytosanitary regime for the purposes of listing as a third country authorized to export foodstuffs to the EU. These are, in effect, unilateral decisions by the EU and are not subject to negotiation.

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In July, the UK resumed export licensing of military equipment to Saudi Arabia, which it had suspended in compliance with a June 2019 court ruling (see Yemen).In response to the excessive use of force against protesters from the US Black Lives Matter movement, some members of Parliament and several organizations, including Amnesty International, called on the UK to suspend the export of crowd control equipment, such as tear gas and rubber bullets, to US law enforcement agencies. In September, the government said it had reassessed the licensing of exports of such equipment to the United States in light of these developments and had determined that there was “no clear risk” of misuse.

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A draft anti-terrorism and sentencing bill proposed a major overhaul of the sentencing regime for terrorism offenses that included the removal of some key safeguards on the use of the already troubling administrative control measures known as Terrorism Investigation and Prevention Measures. The proposed changes included lowering the standards governing the burden of proof for the imposition of a Terrorism Investigation and Prevention Measure.

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Since the UK has left the EU, the issue of personal data transfers has been very much on the minds of many websites, businesses and privacy organizations in both blocs.

In the agreement signed by the UK and the EU at the end of December 2020, a provision allowed for the continuation of unrestricted data flow between the two blocs for an interim period of six months (until June 2021).

Since the UK left the EU with Brexit, the UK is not covered by the GDPR, and adequacy talks have been a major focus to ensure continued flow for websites, businesses and organizations in both blocs.

The UK already has a new national data privacy law called UK-RGPD, which is exactly the same as the EU version and is backed by the UK Data Protection Act 2018.

UK-RGPD and EU GDPR compliance remains an obligation for any website, business or organization processing personal data within the UK or EU: explicit consent from users must be obtained before allowing any processing or transfer to take place.

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The sanctions by the British authorities will be applied against organizations involved in the overseas procurement of arms and military equipment for the Burmese Army, as well as against all those who support in any way the military junta’s “repression” of the civilian population.

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“The UK will always be a staunch defender of human rights and we will work with our partners and allied democracies as a network of freedom to hold to account those who deny these fundamental freedoms,” remarked British Foreign Secretary Lord Ahmad.

“Today’s sanctions target some of the most vicious human rights violations and abuses, including cases where civilians have suffered unrelenting state repression and believers have been targeted and killed for their religious beliefs,” he said.

Within this new battery of restrictions, the UK has also issued sanctions against Furqan Bangalzai, commander of the terrorist organization Lashkar e Jhangvi, for his involvement in the 2017 bombing of the Pakistani shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar that killed more than 70 people.