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London pushes to take Saudis off EU dirty money blacklist (reuters.com)
166 points by glassworm 38 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 112 comments



> that pose money-laundering and terrorism financing threats

So, Uk is fine with a country that finances terrorism in the UK itself as long as the elite gets a good chunk of money. At the same time, the UK wants to leave the European Union because immigration is "bad".

What about letting immigrants in, but keeping state-sponsored terrorism out?

All discussions have become so monetary centric that politicians publicly support the vilest of actions if there is money to gain (see Khashoggi torture and murder). The public should bring back some idealism and fight for a better world, not just for money. Otherwise, one day, we will wake up in the Middle Ages.


Let’s not forget that the UK put Iceland on the state-sponsored terror list in order to freeze assets and strongarm them into agreeing to a bad financial deal. With that act, they completely threw out the notion that it actually had anything to do with terrorism.


The people who want to leave the EU and not necessarily the same people pushing for this.


Actually they are very unlikely to be the same people.


They are the same people. The Brexit they sold to the working class and the Brexit the Brexiteer elite is dreaming of are 2 entirely different beasts.

Since the vote has been thrown, the local population has largely been ignored. Their need at best a second thought in a grand political and cynical battle for power.


> The people who want to leave the EU and not necessarily the same people pushing for this.

I think that you are right. But, why is not these kinds of topics part of the political discourse?

It is elected officials the ones pushing for helping Saudis without first asking them to change their methods. Why is not the same people that do not want to be in the European Union because they are afraid of immigrants being more critical to this real threat to their country?

So, citizens have removed "I am worried about inequality" and "I am worried about terrorism" that will make Saudis intervention part of the concerning trends from their thoughts. And they think just about "I am worried about immigration". Without realizing that ending immigration was never a goal. That racism and xenophobia were packaged for them as an easy solution that problems that nobody talks about.

In engineering is important to state the problem to solve before discussing the solutions. Citizens of the UK talk about solutions, that are not real ones, without realizing that they miss the problem.


People see the world through eyes blinded by nationalism. You can justify all kind of contradictory policy. If foreigners are all bad then it makes no difference if you support them not. And there is a natural respect for brutal power like you see in Saudi. And there is support for a brutal foreign policy for the same nationalist reason. If you dont like foreigners then why would you care about foreigners?


Exactly. Brexit was decided by a popular vote, not a few political elite.


You are unfairly conflating the people who voted for brexit with the anti-brexit elites.

I doubt the people who voted for brexit are fine with saudi money.


> I doubt the people who voted for brexit are fine with saudi money.

Not the ordinary Leave voter, sure. But there are links between the upper echelons of the Leave campaign and the upper echelons of Saudi royalty, suggesting that those who pushed for Brexit are happy to deal with the Saudis.


>> that pose money-laundering and terrorism financing threats

> So, Uk is fine with a country that finances terrorism in the UK itself as long as the elite gets a good chunk of money. At the same time, the UK wants to leave the European Union because immigration is "bad".

UK is itself no stranger for that. London hosts god knows how much laundered money from badlands of the world.

It hosts Altaf Hussain, and god know how many other ex and acting warlords from Africa and Middle East, shielded by UK spy establishments.


honestly the backlash is on the whole idea of using state resources to whitelist transactions

its not about whether a country or participants in a country fulfills the criteria set forth in "are they circumventing capital controls to also fund terrorism" guideline

its about the capital controls at all. banks obviously aren't playing ball and the state can only leverage the financial institution's relationship with their central bank to enforce this anyway, parallel non-bank payment systems make it more apparent that all of this a moot point anyway, and the costs to enforce this ideal are extremely high.

obviously no senator can say "maybe we shouldn't try attempt to police terrorism financing", but a 28 country bloc that requires unanimous consent can easily bring sanity back into public resource use, and thats what is happening here.


> because immigration is "bad".

The malicious simplification of argument.

Immigration will continue after Brexit, just like it does today for Canadians or Thais or Ukrainians or whomever non-EU moving is to the UK. No-one pretends otherwise except sneering anti-Brexiters.

Look, we're going into this together. It's time to stop being dickish and work out what we're going to do in the new reality whether we like it or not. Ridiculing half the population as uneducated xenophobes isn't going to achieve anything.


Half the reason we are in this mess is because politicians are too stupid to properly discuss this without resorting to straw men and personal attacks.

Free movement is not without consequence, address it honestly, attempt to solve real issues and maybe people come around.


> Free movement is not without consequence, address it honestly, attempt to solve real issues and maybe people come around.

The problem is that unrestricted movement disrupts culture and lowers a lot of social statistics all at once - in a way that can be really disruptive to the host culture.

Similarly, no matter how you explain it, the deal in practice is "We'll take a lot of money from the middle class and give it to the globally impoverished."

Understandably, the people who are just being taken from don't seem to like that deal very much; and cultures which are rapidly disrupted by low-class migrants don't seem to do well.

Never mind that "free movement" is usually just political cover for people looking to import more workers after their leadership and the society they built is so toxic, it's killing the indigenous population. Naturally, the people being fed into the meat grinder and replaced aren't particularly fond of paying for their replacements to be imported.

Talking about "free movement" in that context has about the same tone as "right sizing" your business, while off-shoring.


> The problem is that unrestricted movement disrupts culture and lowers a lot of social statistics all at once - in a way that can be really disruptive to the host culture.

So, free movement inside the UK should be restricted? The UK should be divided by countries and block free movement? And what happens if two cities have different cultures? I'm different from my neighbors and I feel I have more in common with people from other countries, how to done that? My country is Christian, but I'm an atheist. I am disruptiny the country culture. I'd that bad?

Global communications and exchange of people and ideas has brought riches to the world that were impossible to think of one century ago.

Tribalism has a romantic appealing, but it's based in the falacy of the Noble Savage.

You are right that there is people that will abuse the system. But, that is true for any system. So, is better to try to improve it instead of throwing it away without an alternative.

People should be concerned about losing their jobs, losing wealth, etc. And look for the causes instead of using a straw man.


But Brexit probably won't reduce immigration - it might well increase total numbers. All that will change is where people are coming from.


I didn't mean to imply Brexit was a solution to anything - just that people can understand what the deal with free movement is, but be against it for perfectly rational reasons.


I don't think politicians are too stupid to discuss without straw men, it's just that straw men work with the general public, and get them support.


Well reasoned argument.


> It's time to stop being dickish and work out what we're going to do in the new reality whether we like it or not. Ridiculing half the population as uneducated xenophobes isn't going to achieve anything.

In the interest of stopping being dickish, you could start by admitting that brexiters are not, in fact, "half of the population". Around 1/4 of the population voted for brexit on the Referendum [1]. Since then, it's likely that some amongst those have changed their opinion, now that more information about how (and how not) the process would (or will not) take place.

> Look, we're going into this together.

I, as a non-UK European, agree on that. UK should have a second referendum, for its shake as well as Europe's.

[1] https://www.indy100.com/article/brexit-leave-remain-52-48-pe...


Otikik, as a Brit who voted remain, I’ll be proud to vote exit EU if we ever get faced with a ghastly anti-democratic second referendum.


The fact that new information is available now that when the Referendum took place is incontestable. In the light of this, not voting again is the anti-democratic option, from where I stand.


Fear mongering around immigration was definitely one of the top "arguments" of the brexit proponents during the referendum campaign. So clearly it's not something made up by "sneering anti-Brexiters".


> work out what we're going to do in the new reality whether we like it or not.

The reality in question is being denied, ignored or lied about.

> Ridiculing half the population as uneducated xenophobes isn't going to achieve anything.

Agreed - ridiculing won't do anything. But if half of the population are uneducated xenophobes, these problems will persist with/without/before/after leaving the EU. And this shouldn't be ignored.


> It's time to stop being dickish

> sneering anti-Brexiters.

...uh-huh


Relevant article excerpt to balance the title:

"The list needs the endorsement of a majority of the 28 EU nations but Britain and other heavyweights of the bloc, including Germany, France, Italy and Spain, are raising concerns, three EU officials told Reuters."


The other countries have concerns with the list overall but it seems the main detractor to specifically SA being in it is the UK, seeing this quote:

"Britain is the country that is pushing more openly not to include Riyadh in the list, one official said, while Spain is insisting it excludes Panama."


Ah, so Spain only wants to exclude one of the main money laundering locations from this anti-money laundering blacklist. What about the other major EU states like Germany and France - what are their objections?


It's almost like we're desperate for any financial institution to find us relevant post Brexit.


Well, that plus we're desperate not to be cut off from Saudi intelligence gathering.


Hear, hear! Post-Brexit London will act as the financial intermediary (read: laundromat) between the Saudis and the EU.


The Panama Papers showed this is how London (or the 'The City of London' to be precise) has stayed financially relevant since the fall of the British Empire.


Do you have a citation for this? How would this be possible?

The fall of the British Empire begins with World War 2 and is mostly finished by the independence movements of the early 1960s. Yet "The City" was only deregulated in 1986 under Thatcher.



Thanks this looks interesting. Unfortunately I don't have time watch this now in it's entirety. I will later however. Cheers.


> "strategic dismantling" of the British Empire.


I think you mean "continue to act"


Am I the only one struck by the colossal irony (to say nothing of hypocrisy) of trying to influence EU policy while simultaneously trying to leave it?


Maybe - We're still a member and still have MEPs who vote for now. I see no reason to waste the time and influence while its here.

Since this is annoying some people would you care to reply and explain why the UK should not be represented when it continues to fund the EU?


> I see no reason to waste the time and influence while its here.

Then let me suggest one: it violates the intent of democracy, which is government by the consent of the governed. To exert your influence over the rules that others have to live by when you no longer consent to be governed by those rules is just a dick move in my book.


But london also won't benefit from the relaxed regulation so why shouldn't they just wait it out?


Bad example. The EU is not a democracy. It’s a union of democracies. You’re part of the union until you aren’t.


On that view, the United States of America is not a democracy either. Now, I grant that the proposition that the U.S. is a democracy is arguable nowadays, but not because it's a union of separate states.


Yeah it was not a democracy since politicians were allowed to be bought under the name of free speech.


Why wouldn't the EU just say, hmm, let's wait a couple months before we finalize this.


Actually that would be an extremely EU thing to do.


1 vote out of 28 doesn't matter.


Well if selling arms is a large part of your economy you need to have a way to get the oil and blood stains out of the money you receive.


Arms sales are not a large part of the UK economy


(edited for clarity) they're the world's sixth largest arms exporter, immediately after China on the list: https://www.businessinsider.com/top-countries-exporting-weap...

Interestingly, half of those sales are to Saudi Arabia.


Your point doesn't contradict my point at all...? Are you saying that ~0.5% is "a large part"?


I don't know or care about that 0.5% figure, but five percent of exports is a significant chunk of the UK's economy, yes. Are we pretending it isn't for some reason?

It will be an unusually useful flow of money in the months to come because it doesn't depend on a decent trade relationship with the EU to continue.


How are you calculating that Arms represent 5% of UK exports?


I'm a little shocked at how much it is in absolute terms, but I'm not familiar with this data. Don't have a lot of time to spend on this but, from the UK government:

On a rolling 10 year basis, UK remains the second largest global defence exporter.

In 2017, the UK won defence orders worth £9 billion, up on the previous year’s (£5.9 billion) and further illustrative of the ‘volatile’ nature of the global export market.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/defence-and-secur...

Total 2017 exports were $441 billion USD (call it 340 pounds sterling?). https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world...

That looks like about half of what I said in percentage terms. I'd stand by what I said about it being a sizable chunk, though.

(there are some big picture odd and probably important things about these numbers which I haven't even thought about, like, the UK exports F-35s to the United States?!? I'm not sure who gains leverage from that in the trade relationship, but I suspect it's the US.)


UK exports in 2017 were ~£617bn [0] meaning £9bn in arms exports represented about 1% of exports and about 0.5% of the UK economy. Personally I would not describe 0.5% as "a large part" of anything, I would describe it as "a small part", but if you think otherwise we can agree to disagree

[0] https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/balanceofpay... m


> UK exports in 2017 were ~£617bn

How odd that the CIA World Factbook was so far off. Thanks.

> Personally I would not describe 0.5% as "a large part" of anything, I would describe it as "a small part", but if you think otherwise we can agree to disagree

I think you're linguistically right, but all this sperging out about the distinction between being a large part of something versus being a small part of an extremely large whole is perhaps missing the point a bit. To Y_Y's original point, which isn't really about the total size of the UK's economy and was of course a bit harsh: a taste of nine billion pounds is more than enough money to cause politicians to behave dishonorably or irrationally and to make some powerful few rich beyond the dreams of avarice. There are some pretty nasty examples of what happens when a slice of that kind of money is at stake in the US government's budgeting process, and I imagine the UK is at least similar.


Isn't the situation that Germany wanted in WW1/2 now a reality? They are the main power in Europe and Britain is an isolated has-been. Funny how differently reality unfolds in contrast to the narratives of meaning we try to construct around it. Britain won the war.. but lost the war.


> Britain won the war..

I think the reality of this is a little more nuanced. By virtue of geography (it's an island) Britain was the last place Germany were able to overrun. This bought time for what remained of the European forces to gather and reorganise, and provided a staging point for further counter-attacks.

The fact is, that Britain has never been invaded, not in modern times anyway, and outside of bombing raids has never known the true humiliation of hearing the foreign powers' jackboot marching down the street.

Just about every other nation in Europe has, and understands the value of the peace that closer union brings about.

>.. but lost the war.

Ultimately being able to claim "they won the war" may have done the UK more harm than good because they were never incentivised to address their deep deep social issues in any kind of a constructive way.

The good that comes out of the brexit fiasco might be that this is an eventual turning point for them.


I wouldn't view it as 'this is what Germany wanted from WW2', instead 'this is how Germany should have carried out WW2'.

You can imagine that if Germany made better use of individual European countries, made some high-profile infrastructure and regulatory improvements in the countries that it occupied (as the EU does now), and dramatically toned down the anti-Pole and anti-Jew activities- it would have been a lot more successful in its aims. Heck, mass conversions to Christianity of the Jewish population would probably have been successful, and been supported by many Christians worldwide, and any staunch Jewish holdouts who refused given the opportunity to fight against the British and create and mass-migrate to Israel as a German sub-territory.

Germany could have created a new European identity, and sought new land and direct expansion of European populations into the Middle East and Africa against easier opponents, instead of against Russia.

Eventually it would have just outgrown and outlasted Britain and Russia. Britain as a democracy would have eventually rotated in a set of politicians willing to make peace.

I say all this as the descendent of a Polish Jew :-)


Interesting take, but I'd also suggest that the Germany that fought WW2 was very different from modern Germany. There was a madness there. It took the burning shame of such catastrophic failure to put the brains in charge. Again as I said above, I reckon Brexit will do the same for the UK.


Well, the UK did attempt to address a lot of social issues at the end of WW2 by electing a socialist (but passionately anti-Soviet) government - that's how we got things like the NHS.

People forget that Churchill was hated by a lot of people - my father (who was in the RAF in WW2) utterly loathed him.


And then the UK had a decade of Thatcher, who tried to kill the NHS while lying that it was safe: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/nov/25/margaret-th...


Nuclear deterrence did more to ensure peace in Europe than the EU. It's not a choice between the EU or war.


Has there been a cold war between European nations that I was not informed about?


I don't understand the revisionist conflation of the EU and Germany. Germany are not the main power in Europe, although they are a significant part of it.


Revisionist conflation is silly, but Germany definitely is the main power within EU.

EU decision making for big issues:

1. Leaders of France and Germany meet to draw out a plan.

2. They negotiate with few other big countries to form a block. Valuable horse-trading happens here.

3. The European Council meets and small countries realize that the table is already made for them. They are never part of the process from the start. They are allowed to do some tweaks but that's it.


Except that that's also a caricature that hasn't been true in a while.

Germany is one of several large powers in the EU, but small countries have considerable influence, and can and do block decisions/legislation all the time. That's why there is a push to end the national vetos on various issues.

Seriously, the idea that the EU, where the smallest country has a veto over virtually everything, and where Germany is the largest of several large democratic powers, and where everything that happens is a compromise negotiated carefully while balancing dozens of competing interests, is in _any_ way related to "what Germany wanted in WWII" is deeply offensive.

And yet I've encountered it again and again, online and in person. This type of idiotic idea, unbound by the reality of what the EU is and does, and enabled and encouraged by opportunistic press and politicians, is exactly what brought us Brexit.


> in _any_ way related to "what Germany wanted in WWII" i

I was not arguing that and I specially said so in the beginning. Brits are just sore because they won the war but lost the peace (relative to Germany).

Small countries have veto power, but using veto always creates a crisis. That's not proper way to do decisions, but Germany forces it to others.

The inability to be part of the decision process from the beginning is real problem. You either vote to spoil everything or get small confessions, but you are never part of the inner circle.


A threat of veto makes sure proposals don't get to the table. If Germany had had its way, many countries would have taken on refugees in recent years.

I also don't accept the idea that others don't have a place at the table for discussions during the drafting phases. These are often run by the EC where smaller countries are represented.

However, the asymmetry of EU members is also really extreme. Germany has 160 times as many inhabitants as Malta. Germany, the UK, France and Italy already make up 54% of EU population.[1]

With the UK out, the four biggest, Germany, France, Italy and Spain will be at more than 57%. So obviously there is a really difficult balancing act here.

But really, please point to any development in the last 5 years or so that functioned according to the "Germany and France decide and the EU goes in that direction". Germany and France wanted a Tobin Tax and couldn't get it, Germany wanted refugees to be distributed and couldn't get it, Germany and France wanted stricter Tax rules in the EU and didn't get it. They wanted to end unanimty on Tax rules and it looks like they are not getting that either.

[1] If you think back to the start of the EU, among the 6 founding members Germany and France represented more than 2/3rds of the population. So the top four countries together don't have nearly as much weight as France/Germany had in the beginning. I guess this is the main reason that the France-Germany axis is not as prominent as it once was.


> 1. Leaders of France and Germany meet to draw out a plan.

So...the main power in Europe is not Germany, it's 'France and Germany'. Important distinction.


Germany is definitely the leading force behind the two, but yes, they work closely together.


Yes, in fairness. The UK have always been a heavy hitter in Europe, the fact that they failed to redistribute the spoils is a domestic matter. France are a large military industrial power too. There are other strong voices such as the Dutch, the Polish and the Spanish.

This whole thing about fitting up Germany to be the puppet master is just ignorance borne of envy for their social model, industrial output and success on the international export market.


> I don't understand the revisionist conflation of the EU and Germany. Germany are not the main power in Europe, although they are a significant part of it.

Who would say is the main power?


The point is that they are a union. For instance, France, the Netherlands and Belgium together are more "powerful" than Germany. It's not like the Germans simply determines whatever they want.


There is no main power in Europe. Each country, down to Lichtenstein, has struggled for centuries to gain and maintain its independence. What you do have are blocs and factions.

But if you think Germany can actually tell any country on how to vote you need a European history lesson.


If we're pretending the EU doesn't exist (which seems to be what's happening here), then it's clearly Russia.


I don't understand what you're trying to say, Russia is an important diplomatic and military power but economically its GDP is barely above Spain and quite far below Germany, the UK, France and Italy. If you take the EU as a whole its GDP is more than 13 times greater than that of Russia (22 trillion vs. 1.6 trillion USD).

It's definitely a significant power but I don't see how you could argue that it's "clearly" the main continental power.

However it's probably the regional power with the highest nuisance potential for the EU (alongside Turkey).


That may be true, but what does it have to do with the topic at hand? Britain and Germany are on the same side of this issue.


Germany has little military power, and the condition of the Bundeswehr is not optimal, to say the least. So calling it the "main power" in Europe is an exaggeration, few Germans see their country as that, in a way also because there is little to no real national identity. As a German, I frequently notice a common misconception about the country: it cannot be understood as a static nation with a common narrative. Mindset, culture, wealth and history (even language) of the states ("Länder") differ quite significantly. The idea of "one" German nation is really not that old, and there are many Germans who would not describe themselves as Germans, but instead as members of the original, once independent region or city they are living in ("Swabians", "Bavarians", "Frisians", "Hamburgers", etc). Not so very long ago, the country was also sharply divided religiously into Protestants and Catholics, and a similar conflict is now emerging between Christians and Muslims. The first common experience to "Germans" was WWII and the guilt of the holocaust. I cannot think of any other integrative narrative that wouldn't be quite a stretch.

Any power Germany had, has, or will have, is fragile, not only because we are quite exposed geographically, but also because the idea of "Germany" was always so dynamic. A fragile power is no power. You may argue with Taleb that this makes the country antifragile, but personally I find it extremely unrealistic for Germany to hold any status other than "economic" power for an extended period of time. It wasn't achieved in over 1250 years since Charles the Great, and not for lack of trying.


Your first paragraph was quite enlightening! In my experience as a Czech, the guilt over WWII and the holocaust is the recurrent unifying theme for Germans. On one hand I do appreciate the sentiment. On the other, I think it's a bit of an overreaction that just displaying the German flag is often seen as a form of radical nationalism.

Also, this bit made me laugh:

> Germany [...] quite exposed geographically

Yes, squeezed between Poland and Belgium? Or perhaps Czech Republic and the Netherlands? Austria and Denmark? All these scary countries around! I can promise you the Czechs aren't planning any attacks on the exposed Germany just yet :)


> In my experience as a Czech, the guilt over WWII and the holocaust is the recurrent unifying theme for Germans.

This is 100% true, and as the number of people who experienced WWII and the holocaust is rapidly declining, the German political elite is on a desperate search for another national identity. I fear that if they are not successful, we will see strong separatist movements in some areas of Germany during the next 10-30 years.

> Yes, squeezed between Poland and Belgium? Or perhaps Czech Republic and the Netherlands? Austria and Denmark? All these scary countries around!

I meant that Germany has almost no natural borders, except the Alps, the Rhine and a tiny amount of coast. I can assure you that this is extremely present in the German mindset, and has been for centuries. It may explain the general "nervousness" of Germans, and is also one of the reasons the refugee crisis had such a significant impact on German politics. It is true that we are surrounded by friends, but the part you find laughable - the small military power of most of our neighboring nations, with the exception of France - is at the same time the main reason Germany has to be nervous. If somebody wanted to invade us, they would just walk over the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic, or Switzerland. I am 31. When I was 2, half of Germany was still de facto occupied by Russia.


> If somebody wanted to invade [Germany], they would just walk over the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic

See, this is the part I find worrying! :)


> I can promise you the Czechs aren't planning any attacks on the exposed Germany just yet :)

děkuju moc! And greetings from germany :)

Czech is a wonderful language by the way. It's sad there is so little interest for your country in Germany.

As for the flag: I doubt it's a such a big deal. It's unpopular in educated circles to some degree but I'm worried quite more about all the people using the Imperial War Flag to demonstrate their disdain for modern democracy.


I think one way to look at it is as an example of the positive effects of destruction. Cities bombed down => get to rebuild higher density, modern form, get a strong regulated rental sector Society destroyed => Britain still has a unique level of class-based system, unique private school=>uni system, lowest social mobility in Europe (closer to the US) Monarchy destroyed (WW1) => get to have functioning politics (proportional representation). UK has never had a proper revolution that stuck, so our politics is directly descended from monarchs arguing with nobles, that's what led to Brexit and after Brexit to our inability to negotiate coherently.


> UK has never had a proper revolution that stuck

Well, there was Cromwell [0] but maybe that's part of the problem ...

[0] https://oll.libertyfund.org/groups/68


If the dude's kid ends up as king it's not a proper revolution in my book, the French knew how to do it.


In France they soon had an Emperor then not long after that the Bourbons were restored to the throne:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_XVIII_of_France


It would be more precise to qualify your description of Germany as being the main economic power, because in military terms it is still effectively occupied by the US. Perhaps apparent permanent vassalage status is worth trading against economic success in your eyes..


Maybe the wars only managed to set Germany back and delay the inevitable. If only they had seen it.


In the EU everyone has a veto on everything. Nothing happens against the will of the sovereign states. To conflate that Germany is influential within such a supranational structure, in a situation where Germany also financially supports many other member states, with the imperialistic ambitions of Germany to rule Europe in WW2 is misleading, offensive and wrong.


The saying goes Britain won the battle but lost the war.


There's a bit of a difference between being influential through strong economy and democratic process vs dictatorship and genocidal occupation.


Good luck leading eu countries when you are leaving the eu in under 2 months.


"Britain is leading a group of European Union states who are trying to..."

This seems in bad taste, atm considering the ongoing divorce proceedings.

More seriously, I wonder what this is really about. Money laundering has become an enormously hairy term. It could mean just about anything.

I suspect this about housing the piles of money officials, oligarchs, warlords and aristocrats from these countries accumulate. No one wants to keep their $6bn in Yemen. It's not safe there.

Saudi has a huge, wealthy aristocracy. It's no secret that a lot of them are heavily invested in the UK, notably London real estate.

Considering the "game of thrones" event where prince MLB locked up half his own family and extorted... princely sums from them... I imagine the desire to get your loot away from the middle east has just gotten keener.


For anyone curious, Saudi Arabia has been on the list but has effectively managed to dodge most of the requirements through complex corporate & trust structures. It's not that the U.K. suddenly opposes KSA being on the list but that recent regulatory changes will now require financial institutions to obtain "additional information regarding the transaction as well as the natural and legal persons involved" for entities owned or controlled by persons from those high-risk countries.

Before the EU's 5th AML Directive the transactions could be attributed to shell corps and trusts. So long as KSA is on the high-risk jurisdiction list the transactions will now need to be attributed to both the entity (corporation/trust/etc.) and the natural person directing the transaction on behalf of the entity (trustee/corporate director/etc.) and the ultimate beneficial owner (beneficiary of a trust/majority shareholder of a corp/etc.). This would understandably make it much easier to track the flow of Saudi funds and much more difficult for Saudi Arabia to avoid.


Well, it's not like they financed the september 11 attacks...


or the Paris attacks!


Why does Britain care anyway, as they're leaving the EU?



Saudi arabian people are just like everyone else in the world.

The saudi government is horrible and is being supported by the US government (and financially by EU countries)

Start THERE!


But of course nothing is gonna happen


Saudi money is no less dirty, so I can really only infer one thing from this. Wtf uk.


London becoming the shady Dubai of Europe and free movement for the rich!

Huzzah for Brexit.


This is good for Sam Altman.


Would UK support Maduro if Maduro was pro-American dictator like Saudis?


They supported the mass-murdering Pinochet because he was pro-free-market.

These people have no integrity.


> These people

Who are you talking about here?


Lets not pretend like the neoliberal ideologues that supported Pinochet in spite of his human rights atrocities simply because he was a capitalist aren't the exact same demographic that now stands by the Saudis becuase of their financial ties.


If you want to get into realpolitik there's plenty of shade to throw around for virtually any powerful country.


Probably British politicians? As a Brit I'd be inclined to agree.

Although ours aren't unique in that regard.


You know it




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