Britain’s overseas territories will be forced to adopt public registers of company ownership at the end of the decade after the government conceded it would have to support a backbench amendment designed to stem the global flow of “dirty money”.
Sir Alan Duncan, a Foreign Office minister, told the Commons that ministers recognised “the majority view in this house” and would not oppose an amendment to the sanctions and anti-money laundering bill from Labour’s Margaret Hodge and the Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell.
The retreat was forced on Theresa May’s government after the Speaker rejected a string of government compromise amendments, which would have watered down the disclosure commitment, because they were tabled so late. Afterwards, some of the overseas territories voiced their unhappiness at what had been agreed at Westminster.
The Hodge/Mitchell amendment requires the 14 overseas territories, including the financial centres of the British Virgin Islands and the