PM offered to make what he says would be one of the 'biggest changes' in the history of the British visa system
The Prime Minister, writing in The Times, has offered to make what he says would be one of the "biggest changes" in the history of the British visa system to allow 2.85 million Hong Kong citizens the chance of fully-fledged citizenship.The move, which represents a dramatic escalation in the stand-off between the UK and China, would put Hongkongers "on the route to citizenship", said the Conservative Party leader.
China's ceremonial legislature, the National People's Congress, endorsed a security law for Hong Kong earlier this week that has strained relations with the UK and the US.The law will alter the territory's mini-constitution, or Basic Law, to require its government to enforce measures to be decided later by Chinese leaders.
Critics have said the law erodes the "one country, two systems" framework that promised Hong Kong freedoms not found in mainland China for 50 years.Protesters have taken to the streets in Hong Kong to demonstrate , despite coronavirus social distancing restrictions still being in place.
Mr Johnson said the national security law would breach the treaty between China and the UK and would "dramatically erode" Hong Kong's autonomy.If China chooses to go ahead with its changes for the island, the PM said he would effectively upgrade the status of British National (Overseas) passports, which 350,000 people in Hong Kong hold and 2.5 million are eligible to apply for, to grant immigration rights beyond the current six month limit.
He said: "If China imposes its national security law, the British Government will change our immigration rules and allow any holder of these passports from Hong Kong to come to the UK for a renewable period of 12 months and be given further immigration rights, including the right to work, which could place them on a route to citizenship.
"This would amount to one of the biggest changes in our visa system in British history."Mr Johnson added: "Many people in Hong Kong fear their way of life, which China pledged to uphold, is under threat."If China proceeds to justify their fears, then Britain could not in good conscience shrug our shoulders and walk away; instead we will honour our obligations and provide an alternative."
Read more: China is not strong enough to pull off its bid for world dominance The PM's intervention came just hours after Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told MPs the UK would look to provide a "pathway to citizenship" for British National (Overseas) passport holders in Hong Kong if China carried out its changes.
Making a statement to the Commons, Mr Raab said the proposed national security law would be a "clear violation" of China's international obligations and would "undermine" existing commitments to protect the rights and the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong, as set out in the Joint Declaration.
Mr Raab warned China that there was still time to "reconsider" its behaviour."There is a moment for China to step back from the brink and respect Hong Kong's autonomy and respect China's own international obligations," he said.
But he called for a bigger caucus of opinion to be built up globally to prevent China dismissing efforts to ensure it respects Hong Kong's autonomy from Beijing, arguing the G20 member used "intimidation to get others to stay quiet".Political pressure is growing across the Commonwealth, with chair of the Commons foreign affairs select committee, Tom Tugendhat, joining his counterparts in Australia, Canada and New Zealand in writing to their national leaders to express concerns over the planned security law.
The jointly signed letter by the committee chairs, which will also be sent to the Secretary General of the United Nations, states that Beijing's imposition is a breach of the legally binding agreement between the UK and China.The representatives have asked for collaboration to establish a United Nations Special Envoy for Hong Kong.
Mr Tugendhat MP said: "The security law will allow Beijing to launch a complete crackdown on free speech, taking away the voice of the people by preventing any criticism of the Chinese government's ultra-authoritarian rule. Read more: The Telegraph »
How’s that going to with the xenophobes who put him in power? Lol, what about housing, overcrowded hospitals, invasion overcrowded schools, heavy traffic & all those other things ya'll like to moan about? Honk kong ain't British!! Take my citizen give me your money and pay me taxes !! Not more immigration, that was on of the things driving Brexit.
Can we please help the UK people first... you know, the ones who’ve paid taxes and NI and now need help, jobs, homes etc.... I don’t think we as a country can afford to keep helping others while the people here already are getting into deeper struggles Taking back control by opening our boarders.... complete hypocrisy
Better late than never. This won’t happen. Once again the political elite pay for their moral vanity with the social capital of others And what about 'opening the door' for the return to the UK for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe BorisJohnson? Drunk HK-Exit! !! He will throw out the 3 million EU citizens and get in the 3 million Chinese.
Incidentally, 3 million is the same number of UK taxpaying self-employed that have been left out of all govt help during Covid19. 60% of self-employed aren't eligible for SEISS, we are destitute. 10 weeks, no income, no help. What's the difference between us & UK citizens in HK? Good hardworking people - they would be a great asset to our Nation. Not fanatical - not here just for the money and free ride. Hardworking, smart, good family people - welcome to this independent Nation of Britain.
Good👍 Fuck that 😡
Boris Johnson lays out visa offer to nearly 3m Hong Kong citizensUK prime minister says all eligible for BNO passport can apply if China cuts freedoms This dude went through some things. He’s a changed man. ThE RaCiSt BrExIt MaN!!!! Not enough - still need something for kids who were under 18 before 1997, and those beyond that
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Boris Johnson could take classical lesson in his rush to reopen schools | Larry ElliottEvidence from the rest of the world is encouraging, but the PM may regret acting in haste That man is a dumb a brick. Lessons in anything wouldn’t make a dent. Madness. It’s been done as a babysitting service. Children’s education will not suffer for a few months out of school. Plenty of time to catch up for primary age children. The ones it really impacts are those at secondaries. To open when our death rate is so high is criminal Larry The Brexiteer again. Free market views that see teachers as a baby sitting service. I would expect this in The Express not a quality newspaper. There is an inherent view that all teachers do is babysit and it is more apparent in the UK then anywhere else.
Boris Johnson blocks Corbyn’s recommendation for John Bercow peerageGood. The evil little man doesn’t deserve it. All these traitors need to be looked at, Bercow is just the start of these corrupt bastards Thankfully our PM is the soul of propriety
200 top UK businesses call on Boris Johnson for green recovery plan from coronavirus pandemicFirms put pressure on British government to meet own climate targets including hitting net zero emissions by 2050 Hope they dont hold their breath Facts check please Johnson, plan?
Boris Johnson vows to provide security for Hong Kongers fearing authoritarian ChinaBORIS JOHNSON has revealed the UK is prepared to change its' immigration rules should China impose a national security law on Hong Kong . 🤔🤔🤔👍.. yeah yeah yeah he doing everything trump doing putin has his two puppets Brexiteers wont be happy they dont like foreigners in England