Dr Julian Lewis: I am sure the entire House agrees with the Minister that the UK has done a tremendous job in supporting Ukraine ever since it was illegally invaded, but what we want is a way for the Government to intervene to stop private companies somehow drilling a hole in the bottom of the bucket, as it were, while we are pouring in water at the top. Is there really nothing that can be done to impound, confiscate or levy a tax against money that has been raised in this unacceptable way?
[The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury (James Cartlidge): I pay tribute to my right hon. Friend for his great expertise on these matters but say to him that we have to differentiate. We have taken explicit and direct action on firms within the sanctions regime – 120 entities and 1,200 individuals have been sanctioned and, as I said earlier, £18.4 billion-worth of frozen assets have so far been reported to the UK Government. There has been a clear commitment from a number of important UK and indeed global businesses to divest from Russia – I am not specifically talking about any one –but we must recognise that there is complexity in that. When the Prime Minister was Chancellor back in March, he was very clear about what the Government want in terms of divestment, and we obviously support companies in taking that action, but I am happy to look at what further can be done in this space and to work with colleagues.]