Economic Crime Bill: Oligarch loophole a get out of jail free card

In response to votes in the House of Commons on the Economic Crime Bill, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Layla Moran MP said: “In light of the horrific war in Ukraine, it’s vital that we end the era of Russian interference in the UK. Unfortunately, oligarchs and their enablers have just been handed a ‘get out of jail free’ card.

Education spokesperson Layla Moran

“The Government promised us that Putin’s cronies would have nowhere to hide – yet tonight they have passed a Bill which contains an oligarch loophole. Under these plans, Conservative Ministers will be able to exempt any individual from crucial dirty money requirements, on the grounds of the economic wellbeing of the United Kingdom.

“It’s not too late to take action. The Bill now passes to the House of Lords – where Liberal Democrats will send a clear signal to the Government that failure to act on the oligarch loophole is not good enough.”

Priti Patel acknowledged that the Economic Crime Bill had insufficient measures in it, and a new Bill would be required to fit in additional measures, even as it was being passed. However, she refused to budge on the six months waiting time for a new register of overseas entities, despite it giving Russian investors a substantial window to move money out of the UK. Full story here.

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