Referendum Aftermath

Article by Roy Ramm, Managing Director of ExtraYard Ltd

Carnage is how commentators are describing what has taken place in Westminster as a result of the vote on the 23rd in support of Britain leaving the EU.

While some political careers were killed off, real carnage is what happened in Istanbul last night: the slaughter of a large number of people at one of the world’s busiest hub airports. A brutal act of terrorism that anti money laundering legislation is intended to help combat by cutting off terrorist’s money supply.

But so consumed are politicians by events confined within the Westminster bubble, they seem to have collective myopia, leaving officials floundering and not moving really important legislative issues, including the 4th EU Directive on Money Laundering.

In his speech last night, David Cameron said, ‘I very much hope we’ll seek the closest possible relationship in terms of trade, and cooperation and security, because that is good for us, that is good for them’. So it’s clear that the UK government – whoever leads it – will remain closely aligned with the EU on security issues and will implement AML legislation consistent with the rest of Europe.

But when?

The industry has been pregnant with anticipation since the start of year. Delivery was then trapped in the referendum log jam and pushed back to the ‘second half of the year’. Now, no one in Treasury has any idea when a consultation document on a piece of legislation that needs to be in place by July 2017 might be delivered. Really! Hello! Is there anyone listening in Treasury? This is important if the industry is going to be able to prepare to play its part in preventing acts of terror like those taking place in Turkey.

This legislation must not stay on the back burner while Treasury overcomes its grief. This is not just about the additional and unnecessary pressure and costs delay will put on companies. This is more important than politics, it’s about our national security.