The National People’s Congress in China is about to review the “Hong Kong version of the National Security Law. “It intends to bypass the local legislation by including Annex III of the Basic Law and directly declare that the National Security Law will take effect in Hong Kong. The news has caused Hong Kong people to panic. The “Sunday Express” in UK reported that the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson intends to grant political asylum to some Hong Kong people, but the report did not provide other details.
"Sunday Express : Britain ready to Welcome Hong Kong Refugees"
“Sunday Express” is titled “Britain ready to Welcome Hong Kong Refugees“. The report stated that the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a “secret plan“. At the official countryside house of the Prime Minister earlier this year, he once told a group of members of Cabinet ,that he had prepared asylum is granted to Hong Kong people. It is not yet clear whether it only includes 315,000 Hong Kong people, and their family members holding British National (Overseas) passports (BNO), or whether it is provided to all Hong Kong people. According to the news, this proposal was unanimously approved by the participants at the meeting.
Reports indicate that this is similar to the treatment of Ugandan Asian refugees. In the early 1970’s, after the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin launched a coup to seize power, he once asked the UK government to grant aid to no avail, and then expelled nearly 60,000 Asians in the country for revenge, forcing UK to accept them completely . The UK government originally tried to seek the consent of the Commonwealth to allow this group of Asian refugees to move to the local area, but only Falkland Islands responded positively at that time, willing to accept doctors, teachers, hired workers and agricultural workers.
Finally, the UK government allowed 27,000 people to move to the UK through the Uganda Resettlement Plan and obtain British citizenship. It is worth mentioning that the family of the current British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, settled in the United Kingdom during this great migration.
“Last Hong Kong Governor” Chris Patten and former UK Foreign Minister Malcolm Rifkind, launched the International Joint Statement to criticize China’s flagrant violation of the “Sino-British Joint Declaration” and plan to carry out the National Security Law in Hong Kong. As of Sunday (24th), there are more than 200 politicians from 23 countries worldwide. Andrew Bridgen, a member of the UK Parliament, is one of the co-signers. He believes that in the face of China’s suppression, UK is morally responsible to Hong Kong people, especially those who are BN(O) holders.
Luke de Pulford, committee of Conservative Party’s Human Rights Commission, who visited Hong Kong last year, personally “congratulated” Junius Ho, said that he had contributed to revoke Ho’s Master Degree in UK. He tweeted the report on Twitter, referring to Johnson’s claim that he would use the “Ugandan lifeboat” The Ugandan-style “lifeboat” immigration scheme helped Hong Kong people. Many Hong Kong people poured in their accounts to thank them. However, Luke de Pulford said that he should be cautious before any details are given. The word “refugee”.
However, Luke de Pulford believes that the UK government “will not leave” the Hong Kong people‘s attitude is clear, “We will no longer allow our overseas citizens to be bullied, We’ve got you and take Xi Jinping’s attitude. Enough is enough.”
Fortune : Do some Hong Kongers have a right to resettle in the U.K.? China’s new security law revives old debate
A leading legal adviser to the U.K. government has potentially opened the door for hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents to resettle in the U.K. as Beijing moves to tighten its grip on the Special Administrative Region.
Laurie Fransman, a barrister specializing in immigration, told members of the ruling Conservative party that holders of British National Overseas (BNO) passports could legally be offered the right of abode in the U.K., countering a decades-long position to the contrary.
Fransman wrote a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel in April advising there was no legal grounds to deny right of abode, which confers complete exemption from U.K. immigration control, to people with BNO status. That advice was resurfaced last weekend by a politician urging the government to reconsider its stance on BNOs “given the deteriorating situation in Hong Kong.”
Independent UK : Hong Kong citizens deserve more from the UK – starting with permanent residency
The people of Hong Kong are not making unreasonable demands. They are simply calling for the promises that were made to them to be upheld. These promises, enshrined in the Sino-British declaration, place a moral and legal duty on the UK to ensure that the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong are enhanced and protected. Democracy, human rights and the rule of law should be at the forefront of all UK foreign policy. And when it comes to Hong Kong, there is absolutely no excuse for the Conservatives’ inaction.
The UK government has thus far turned a blind eye to the situation in Hong Kong, failing to show any leadership or take decisive action. The Conservatives have let down the people of Hong Kong in their hour of need. We made a promise but they have so far ducked and weaved to avoid upholding that promise.
Liberal Democrats will bring an end to this unforgivable situation. Democracy, the rule of law, and human rights run through our veins. During the handover process in the 1980s and 1990s, these values motivated us to demand that the people of Hong Kong be given the right of abode in the UK if China were to renege on the promises made in the Sino-British declaration. The late Paddy Ashdown led this call, knowing the UK could not guarantee the promises we’d made without this supportive measure. As he said then, democracy is not a magic charm to be waved in front of a Chinese tank. It needs to be supported by something; it must be supported by the right of those people to leave if they wish and come to Britain.
The Times view on helping Hong Kong : Stronger Response, The UK should offer support and asylum to Hong Kong’s citizens
China’s decision effectively to do away with the “one nation, two systems” policy that has underpinned Hong Kong’s political and economic freedoms since its handover from British rule in 1997 is profoundly unsettling for all the territory’s citizens. None more so than its pro-democracy activists and politicians. Under the sweeping new security law rubber-stamped by the Chinese parliament yesterday, Beijing will be able to arrest, detain and deport anyone it suspects of terrorism, foreign interference or seditious activities. In other words, anyone it wants.
The British government should act to protect these vulnerable residents of its former colony. That should include making clear that it will offer asylum to anyone who has reasonable grounds to fear retribution from Beijing. Britain should also open its doors…….
BBC News : Hong Kong security law 'needed to tackle terrorism
“Meanwhile, the UK home secretary is being urged to review the status of the more than 300,000 Hong Kong residents who hold British National (overseas) passports but have no right to live or work in the UK.”
“A group of 200 senior politicians from around the world have issued a joint statement criticising China’s plan.”
The Guardian : Foreign policy New UK legal advice could open door to Hong Kong citizens
A UK government claim that insurmountable legal obligations to China prevent ministers offering a right of abode to tens of thousands of Hong Kong citizens has been blown apart by new legal advice handed to Conservative MPs.
The advice by one of the UK’s most prominent immigration QCs is likely to shift the mood on the Tory benches in the face of a potential clampdown on Hong Kong by the Chinese government.
The advice says ministers are wrong to suggest they are bound by agreements with China to refuse a right of abode to the tens of thousands of Hong Kong citizens who hold a British national (overseas), or BN(O), passport.
Home Office ministers have been resisting a claim to a legal right of abode on the basis it might be in breach of the understandings the UK government reached with China alongside the 1984 joint declaration on the future of Hong Kong.
The issue has suddenly regained importance after the Chinese government said it intended to impose sweeping new security laws on Hong Kong that risk its semi-autonomous status.
The offer of a right of abode to BN(O) passport-holders is seen as one of the few practical steps that may be in the sole gift of the UK, the former colonial power of the city, to alleviate the plight of citizens fearing persecution by the Chinese state.
British citizens, including some BN(O)s, were given a right to register, he points out, adding: “Manifestly, the UK government did not consider itself barred by the memoranda, or anything else, from taking such action.” He says he endorses those who claim BN(O)s can be given a right of abode.
In making their legal case, ministers also frequently cite a report on citizenship written for the then Labour government by the former attorney general Lord Goldsmith in 2008.
Goldsmith has himself written to the home secretary, Priti Patel, to ask the government to stop using him in aid of their argument. In his letter he insists he had not in 2008 himself passed any judgment on whether a right of abode from BN(O)s would be in breach of the joint declaration, adding his position had been mischaracterised by the government.
He wrote that his report had merely cited, but not endorsed, the contemporary view of the Foreign Office that it may be in breach. His own subsequent independent examination of this issue, he said in his letter sent in February, found that the joint declaration was no obstacle.
Goldsmith pointed out, in a view endorsed by Fransman, that the status of the BN(O)s is not mentioned in the joint declaration but in a memorandum of understanding sent by the British government on the same day. The memorandum was received by the Chinese government, but never signed or agreed.
The memorandum excludes a right of abode, Goldsmith concedes, but he claims it did not bind the future domestic actions of the UK government in perpetuity.
Armed with the new legal arguments, Seely and Ahmad Khan have now written to Patel, saying : “Given the deteriorating situation in Hong Kong, with the continued erosion of the rule of law, it strikes us that the government could consider reviewing its position on BN(O) passports.
“BN(O) passports were always a compromise, dependent in part on the rights guaranteed in the handover settlement. The introduction of the national security legislation means that that settlement is essentially dead. As such there are clear legal and practical grounds for looking again at this matter.”
Additional information relating to BN(O) Second Reading in UK Parliament
In addition, Alistair Carmichael, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party of the United Kingdom, earlier proposed the Hong Kong Bill 2019-21 to support the BN(O) holders’ right to abode in the UK and work rights. The bill was passed for the first reading in the House of Parliament at the end of February 2020, and will be read the second time on September 11.