Hong Kong ’s basic human rights and freedoms are collapsing faster and faster. Many capable Hong Kong people may think about settling down in somewhere else. Although some Hong Kong people hold British National (Overseas) passports (BNO), but they cannot enjoy the right of abode in Britain. When Rt Hon. Lord of Patten of Barnes attended the online conference of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club yesterday, Emily Lau, a former member of the Legislative Council (Democratic Party), was asked if the British Parliament could provide Hong Kong residents with BN(O) with more rights, including visa-free work and study. In response, Patten revealed that the British saw the CCP tightening its governance of Hong Kong and greatly changed the atmosphere in which BN(O) Hong Kong people are granted the right of abode. It also revealed that the British government has been exploded, and has always misquoted the legal advice of the former Attorney General of UK, “It is a violation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration that Hong Kong people are wrongly given the right to abode in the UK”.
Emily Lau pointed out to Patten, that the deterioration of Hong Kong is accelerating. What should the UK Parliament do to respond to anxious and worried Hong Kong people, such as those holding BN(O) holders should be protected, let Hong Kong people study and work in the UK without a visa. Patten responded that Britain’s “atmosphere” for granting more rights to BN(O) holders of Hong Kong people has changed extremely. The Britain saw that the CCP forcibly interfered with other internal affairs of Hong Kong through the epidemic, which caused British MPs to think about BN(O).
Patten also revealed another important development. He mentioned that the UK government used to hold the 2008 legal advice of the former Attorney General UK and Queen ’s Counsel Peter Goldsmith, and pointed out that the provision of the right of abode to the Hong Kong people who are holding BN(O), would violate the Sino-British Joint Declaration, but Peter Goldsmith back in February this year, said the UK government has been quoting incorrectly. Peter Goldsmith shows that the UK can legally extend rights to BN(O) holders, including the right of abode in the UK.
The UK government kept misleading the legal advice, and incorrectly point to provide BN(O) holders the right of abode, it would be in violation of the "Sino-British Joint Declaration".
Looking through the information, Goldsmith’s statement is as following:
“I never intended my report on citizenship to be a statement by me that there would be a breach of the arrangements with China if the UK were to offer greater rights…In view of the misquoting of the original citizenship review…I decided to explore more thoroughly the question of what bearing the Memorandum has on the government’s capacity to review the rights of BNO holders…UK can extend full right of abode to BNO holders without breaching its side of the Joint Declaration.”
Patten said that Emily Lau has always been concerned about this matter on different occasions, and he also pointed out that there are more and more opinions, that the UK government has a moral responsibility to do so and is responsible to Hong Kong people, and the United Kingdom also invests in Hong Kong. He also believes that if the CCP continues to adopt such an attitude towards Hong Kong, many large-scale Hong Kong companies will suffer.
It is understood that the issue of Hong Kong people holding BN(O), enjoys the right of abode in the UK has been resisted by the UK government. Some local politicians in Hong Kong, who have contacted the UK government, pointed out that this issue has recently been put on the agenda of the UK government. But how exactly will it be implemented, including how to define the “boundary” for those who enjoy the right of abode? Who can benefit first? No details yet.
Source : Apple Daily Hong Kong (Chinese Traditioal)