I’ve been leading for Labour on the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, which looks to bring back some powers once we leave the EU.
We had Second Reading of the Bill on the 20th of February, and I highlighted a number of issues with this bill, particularly on the money-laundering side, which only has 2 out of 50+ clauses dedicated to it!
In Committee, the Government stopped proceedings to avoid discussion. It was not clear why. Perhaps they just didn’t want to face scrutiny on sanctioning human rights abusers… or perhaps they were just ashamed of their record on money laundering. Regardless, I have never seen such behaviour in my 13 years as an MP; it was so shocking that even the BBC covered it.
When we finally got on with Committee, 3 hours short on an already tight schedule, they then tried to shut me down again. This was because I suggested that they did not want to increase transparency in offshore tax havens which facilitate money laundering because a number of Tories, including the PM’s husband, have offshore investments and links.
They can try as much as they want but they will not shut us down. We will be moving and backing amendments to increase transparency in the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, to sanction human rights abusers and to stop criminals from buying up property all over the UK so they can launder their money, while we face a homelessness crisis and while young people struggle to get a foot on the property market.