BBC reported that Boris Johnson UK Prime Minister announced on the 1st July, that it will expand its immigration rights for Hong Kong people who hold a British National (Overseas) passport (BNO). Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary said that Hong Kong residents hold BN(O) can stay in the UK for five years.
Up to three million Hong Kong residents are to be offered the chance to settle in the UK and ultimately apply for citizenship, Boris Johnson has said. The PM said Hong Kong's freedoms were being violated by a new security law and those affected would be offered a "route" out of the former UK colony.
Johnson said: “We made it very clear that if China continues this route, we will give these BN(O) holders a new way to live and work in the UK and apply for citizenship.”
However, Dominic Raab admitted that if China tries to prevent Hong Kong people from going to the UK, it will be difficult for the Britain to really force China.
The Guardian reported that after the controversial new national security law was passed, the UK government believed that the bill violated the Sino-British Joint Declaration. Johnson said he would abide by his promise and provide 3 million Hong Kong people with the opportunity, to settle in the UK and apply for citizenship. However, Raab admitted on the evening of the 1st, that if Beijing wanted to prevent people holding British National (Overseas) passports (BNO) from leaving Hong Kong, the British could do very little.
Britain could do little to "coercively force" China if it tries to block Hongkongers from coming to the UK to take up a government visa pledge, the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, has admitted.
Raab said he still has to pay attention to the reality and don’t want to be too naive. Britain has other ways to persuade China not to fully implement the national security laws, or other retaliatory actions. “But in the end we have to be honest, we cannot force China to allow BN(O) holders to go United Kingdom.“
unprecedented extension of visa rights follows increasing restrictions on the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong by the Chinese Government in breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration new immigration rules will allow BN(O) citizens the right to live and work in the UK for longer and give
As of February’s statistics (2020), there are about 350,000 BN(O) holders and about 2.9 million people in Hong Kong are eligible. When asked how many people would come to the UK from Hong Kong in estimate, Raab’s response was difficult to estimate accurately, but he thought only a part of the population would apply. He added that he is discussing with other countries to help Hong Kong people.
UK government said that, before the details of the plan are finalized in the next few weeks, those with BN(O) status will be eligible to travel to the UK and will not need salary thresholds. The “Hong Kong version of the National Security Law” came into effect on the evening of June 30, and the Hong Kong Police conducted its first arrest on the 1st of this month.
Police in Hong Kong on Wednesday said they issued their first arrest under the newly passed security law that critics say undermines the semi-autonomous territory's judicial independence and gives China unprecedented power over the city. The man was arrested for carrying a flag that called for Hong Kong's independence, the Associated Press reported.
Liu Xiaoming, Ambassador of China in United Kingdom, was summoned by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office on the 1st. Simon McDonald, Vice-Secretary at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Head of the Diplomatic Service, told the other party that the implementation of the law had violated the Sino-British Joint Declaration. However, Liu then tweeted that after a tumultuous few months, the National Security Law will bring order and stability to Hong Kong and bring the economy back on track.