Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Debate

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Department: Home Office
Baroness Altmann Portrait Baroness Altmann (Con)
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I too add my support, as a further person in the sanctioned party. I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Alton, on moving this amendment and on his excellent speech. I also congratulate him on all the work he does in some most important areas.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom Portrait Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Con)
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My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Alton of Liverpool, for his amendment and for his kind words. I echo the words of my noble friend Lady Altmann about his work in so many areas. I also thank the others who have spoken in this brief debate—the noble Baroness, Lady Bennett, the noble Lords, Lord Fox and Lord Coaker, and my noble friend Lord Leigh.

I reassure the noble Lord that the Government are sympathetic to using frozen funds to assist with Ukrainian reconstruction. Currently, government authorities have the powers to utilise various enforcement tools to investigate breaches of sanctions and, in criminal cases, to confiscate relevant assets. As has been noted, that has resulted in over £18 billion of Russian assets being frozen in the United Kingdom.

The Government are also considering lawful routes to making Russian assets available for Ukrainian reconstruction. We must ensure that any solution is legal, safe and robust, and we will continue to work with G7 partners to make progress.