The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill began its report stage in the Lords on 15 January, offering further opportunity to examine the bill and make changes.

The United Kingdom currently implements sanctions under European law. The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill would allow create powers for the government to make regulations to impose sanctions.

During the reports stage, members discussed a range of subjects, including financial sanctions, court reviews of decisions on sanctions, and licences for government funded humanitarian programmes.

Two votes on proposed amendments to the bill took place. First, members considered an amendment that would increase the considerations for ministers making sanction regulations to include:

promoting the resolution of armed conflicts or the protection of civilians in conflict zones

promoting compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law

contributing to multilateral efforts to prevent the spread and use of weapons and materials of mass destruction

promoting respect for human rights, democracy, the rule of law and good governance

With 235 members in favour of this amendment, and 188 against, the amendment was made.

The next vote was to remove a paragraph in Clause 16 of the bill, which deals with the government’s power to enforce sanctions by replicating existing legal frameworks. The paragraph in question would have allowed for the use of secondary legislation to create new offences and guidelines on how such offences should be dealt with, in particular regard to defence and evidence. With 209 members voting in favour of removing the paragraph and 192 voting against, that amendment was also made.

The House of Lords meeting, the transcripts of Lords Hansard, and the voting results are accessible on the U.K. Parliament's home page, found here. A second day of report stage is scheduled for 17 January.