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Build anti-corruption measures into all post-Brexit trade deals

Transparency International calls on all parties to commit to fighting corruption

11th May 2017, London – The next government must ensure Britain has strong and effective safeguards against corruption, including those to confront corruption risks posed by Brexit, warn Transparency International UK to all parties and candidates ahead of the 2017 General Election.

Preventing corrupt money from being laundered into the UK must remain a key concern for the next government, particularly as it navigates a complicated Brexit process. Strong standards that are upheld through EU money laundering directives must be mirrored in domestic legislation. As the UK orientates to different priority markets for international trade, it has the opportunity to pursue inclusion of world-class anti-corruption provisions in any new trade agreements.

The recommendations come as part of a series of measures Transparency International UK is launching today in its 2017 General Election Manifesto “Fighting Corruption that calls on all parties and candidates in the forthcoming election to join the fight against corruption for a more secure, prosperous and resilient UK.

Priorities for action by the next government must include:

  • Leadership – publish the UK’s first Anti-Corruption Strategy, as well as appointing a Cabinet Minister to oversee its implementation.
  • Shut the door to dirty money – Introduce a register of the true owners of overseas companies owning property in the UK, to help stop the UK’s housing market acting as a safety deposit box for corrupt individuals across the world.
  • Defend democracy – Reinforce controls on sources of political campaign finance to safeguard our democracy from undue influence or outside interference.
  • Open the books – Roll out open-contracting across the whole of the public sector, including the NHS, to prevent corruption and collusion denying taxpayers value for money.
  • Champion integrity – Lead on the global stage on anti-corruption initiatives to safeguard global security and economic development.

Duncan Hames, Director of Policy Transparency International UK, said:

“Brexit will dominate the next government and presents both risks and opportunities for the fight against corruption. The Government should ensure it retains effective co-operation on law enforcement with the EU, and mounts strong defences against money laundering. The trade deals that will follow Brexit offer a great opportunity for the UK to commit to transparency and preventing bribery. ”

“Past governments have strengthened the law to fight the flow of corrupt money into the UK, introducing a public register of who owns British companies and empowering the police with Unexplained Wealth Orders.”

“The UK has never taken control of its domestic corruption risks, particularly those posed by money in politics. The next government has an opportunity to take a strong lead on these issues. The publication of a world-class anti-corruption strategy which addresses corruption in the UK, is a necessary first step.”

The recommendations made in this manifesto are drawn from Transparency International UK’s research from over the past few years.

***ENDS***

Contact:
Dominic Kavakeb
Dominic.kavakeb@transparency.org.uk
020 3096 7695
079 6456 0340

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Read 68 times Last modified on Thursday, 11 May 2017 13:00

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