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Ahead of the debate on Exiting the EU and Sanctions today, the local MP and the SNP’s Europe spokesperson has warned that the UK risks becoming “increasingly isolated and inconsequential” on the international stage with its Sanctions Bill. The International Sanctions Bill, pledged earlier in the year in the Queen’s Speech, will aim to give the UK government powers on non-UN sanctions as well the powers to implement international sanctions on a multilateral or unilateral basis, which it currently imposes through the EU. SNP MP Peter Grant argued that the EU – the largest trade bloc in the world, biggest global aid donor and notable international investor in global programmes and initiatives – added weight to the UK’s foreign and security policy efforts, and that without the close coordination with the EU the effectiveness of UK-applied economic restrictions will be diminished outside the bloc. Mr Grant MP, the SNP’s Europe spokesperson, commented: “The utter shambles of the Brexit process headed by this divided Tory government should not distract from the very real prospect that the UK’s exit from the EU and the introduction of the Sanctions Bill will leave the UK increasingly isolated and inconsequential on the international stage. “Just this week in Brussels the UK played a central role in bringing about sanctions against those who have been involved in a series of chemical weapons attacks in Syria. That is the role that the Tory government should be seeking to play on the international stage, not the risk of Boris Johnson doing the bidding of the Trump administration. “EU sanctions are one of the tools collectively used to promote its agenda of peace, democracy, human rights and the promotion of international law, through the Common Foreign and Security Policy. As a direct result of Brexit, the UK will no longer be part of shaping that agenda. Not only will the UK lose its seat at the decision making table, the UK will have no clout to impose meaningful sanctions on its own. “As a bare minimum, we must have guarantees that this Bill will not provide opportunities for the UK government, UK nationals and organisations to row back on their existing commitments and responsibilities under international law."

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