On June 23, 2016, Britain voted to leave the European
Union. Does the Brexit decision affect Canada's export controls
and economic sanctions regimes?
The short answer is, "No, not specifically". It is not
likely that Brexit will have a direct impact on Canada's export
controls and economic sanctions regimes. This is because
Canada's economic sanctions laws do not refer to the
"European Union" mainly because the European Union is not
a party to the Wassenaar Arrangement. All member states of the
European Union (other than Cyprus) are individual members of the
Wassenaar Arrangement. So, following the Wassenaar Agreement and
looking at individual country risks, Canada identifies specific
countries rather than trading blocks.
In particular, some regulations made pursuant to the Export
and Import Permits Act refer to the United Kingdom
specifically and do not refer collectively to the European Union.
For example, the following regulations and orders refer to the
General Export Permit No. 41
"Dual-Use Goods and Technology to Certain
General Export Permit No. 43
"Nuclear Goods and Technology to Certain
General Export Permit No. 44
"Dual-Use Nuclear Goods and Technology to Certain
General Export Permit No. 45
"Cryptography for the Development or Production of a
General Export Permit No. 46
"Cryptography for Use by Certain Consignees";
General Export Permit No. 100
"Eligible Agricultural Goods".
As a result of the specific reference to the "United
Kingdom", regulatory amendments are not required to respond to
the June 23, 2016 Brexit vote decision. That being said, in the
future, if Scotland or Ireland hold referendums to exit the United
Kingdom, changes will be necessary. It is likely that Britain will
be a listed destination/country. Whether Scotland and Ireland would
be listed after separation from the United Kingdom will likely be
considered in light of the fact that Britain's influence will
be absent on a going forward basis after any such separation
Canada does not impose economic sanctioned against any European
Union member pursuant to the United Nations Act or the
Special Economic Measures Act. As a result, there is not
economic sanctions consideration at this time.
However, an indirect effect may be felt in the future. The
United Kingdom has been an ally of Canada in recent years in
advocating for economic sanctions and trade restrictions. In the
future, Canada may have to resort to unilateral economic sanctions
pursuant to the Special Economic Measures Act where the
European Union countries do not support multilateral economic
sanctions so that United Nations does not pass Security Council
resolutions against problem countries in the World.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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