If the Strategy is weak or further delayed, the UK will risk dropping out of the top ten. A strategy is both a signal of intent and a roadmap to fight the menace of corruption.Robert Barrington, executive director, Transparency International UK
Robert Barrington, Transparency International UK executive director, said: "The UK has rightly aimed to be amongst the top 10 in the global anti-corruption league table, but there is work to do to keep this ranking. The Government promised to publish a national Anti-Corruption Strategy by the end of 2016, but this has yet to appear, and if the Strategy is weak or further delayed, the UK will risk dropping out of the top ten. A strategy is both a signal of intent and a roadmap to fight the menace of corruption."
Barrington warned the Government must not allow the uncertainty created by Brexit to derail its plans to tackle corruption.
He said: "The uncertainty posed by Brexit has the potential to encourage a ‘business at any cost’ trade strategy; such an approach would be a disaster for UK’s long-term reputation as a leading anti-corruption player... the UK should now be seeking to consolidate and improve its global positioning, and avoid lowering standards as a short-term fix to its economic concerns."
A Cabinet Office spokeswoman said the Government was leading the fight against corruption, having hosted the first summit of its kind last May.
She added: "We welcome the news that the UK has again been ranked as one of the ten least corrupt countries in the world... but there is always more we can do, which is why the Government will publish our first Anti-Corruption Strategy in due course, setting out the steps we will take to ensure the UK continues to lead the global fight against corruption."