John Binns discusses post-Brexit sanctions with Compliance Week

John Binns discusses post-Brexit sanctions with Compliance Week

BCL partner John Binns is quoted in Compliance Week’s article titled ‘Experts weigh in on Brexit consequences for GDPR, AML, more’ discussing potential post-Brexit sanctions.

The passing of the Withdrawal Agreement on Jan. 31 might have finally set the wheels to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union in motion, but the hard work still remains as to what kind of future trading relationship the country has with the single market.

Despite the concerns of business on both sides of the Channel, the possibility of a “hard Brexit”—whereby the European Union and United Kingdom fail to agree on a trade deal—remains very much a possibility, particularly as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has passed into law that once the 11-month transition period ends this New Year’s Eve, the country will finally be out, with or without a deal, and all EU rules and regulations will cease to apply.

John Binns, partner in the financial crime team at law firm BCL Solicitors, believes that “some divergence is inevitable” in rules and approach, adding that “the question is not so much whether there will be divergence, but when it will happen and how significant it will be.”

But he believes “sanctions work best when done multilaterally.”

“An asset freeze or travel ban imposed by the EU or the U.K. alone will never be as effective, practically or politically, as if they acted together,” he adds.

“Keeping track of all the sanctions targets in all the relevant regimes is already hard enough, and a separate U.K. framework will make it harder,” says Binns. “The new legal framework means some divergence is inevitable. It seems the political will is there to keep it to a minimum, but the task of sharing intelligence and coordinating sanctions measures will nevertheless be challenging, even before we consider the likely ongoing pressure to follow the U.S.’s lead.”

This article was originally published by Compliance Week on 10th February 2020. You can read the full article on their site.

John Binns is a partner at BCL specialising in all aspects of business crime, with a particular interest in confiscation, civil recovery and money laundering under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA”). His business crime experience includes representing suspects, defendants and witnesses in cases invoking allegations of bribery and corruption, fraud (including carbon credits, carousel/MTIC, land-banking, Ponzi and pyramid scheme frauds), insider trading, market abuse, price-fixing, sanctions-busting, and tax evasion. He has coordinated and undertaken corporate investigations and defended in cases brought by BEIS, the FCA, HMRC, NCA, OFT, SFO and others.