A new sanctions regime against abusers of human rights unveiled on Monday could be applied to individuals in India or those in countries that are allies or friends of the United Kingdom, foreign secretary Dominic Raab has said.
The first list of individuals and entities facing asset freeze and visa bans include those from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and North Korea. Raab came under pressure on Tuesday to name individuals in China (on abuses related to Uyghur Muslims) and Hong Kong.
During the debate in the House of Commons, Scottish National Party MP Brendan O’Hara asked Raab about imposing sanctions on the UK’s allies, including India, which is one of the key markets with which the post-Brexit UK is keen to reach a free trade deal.
He asked: “Can the Foreign Secretary assure the House that the application of the sanctions regime will be transparently even-handed and will not be blind to human rights abuses carried out by or in the name of our so-called allies and friends such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Israel or India, or indeed countries with which we are seeking to secure a post-Brexit trade deal?