Brexit could damage the UK’s efforts to tackle corruption and give multinationals leverage over the British government in bribery cases, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned.
Business pressure to weaken bribery laws and an inability by the government to focus on non-Brexit issues are both risks associated with leaving the European Union, according to a new report by the group.
While acknowledging the UK’s “solid progress” in pursuing recent bribery investigations, the report warned that the proportion of cases relative to the country’s importance in global finance was low.
“Efforts must be sustained to improve detection of foreign bribery and achieve stronger enforcement of its anti-bribery legislation,” it said.
The report praises the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) for recent successes in pursuing major corruption cases, including a multimillion-pound settlement with the engineering giant Rolls-Royce earlier this year.
However, several civil society groups told the report’s authors they were concerned that “Brexit could increase the risk of UK companies threatening to relocate and potential loss of UK jobs as a bargaining chip in negotiations with prosecutors over charges”.
via The Guardian