The Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to reopen the British National Overseas Passport offer and extend it to give Hong Kong citizens the right to live in the UK following renewed police violence towards protestors in the Hong Kong.
Reports from Hong Kong say police fired tear gas and water cannon at several hundred demonstrators on Sunday who gathered to protest plans by China to implement a controversial national security law on the former British territory.
The Liberal Democrats, whose former leader Paddy Ashdown led the argument for securing the right of abode if China ever reneged the Sino-British declaration, have joined Jong Kong Watch and others in condemning what they described as “a naked power-grab by Beijing.”
Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson and Chair of the APPG on Hong Kong, Alistair Carmichael, said:
“If there ever were a time for us to act in support of Hong Kong, it is now. This is a naked power-grab by Beijing, demonstrating a complete lack of respect for the Joint Declaration.
“Under that Declaration, the UK has a duty to the protect the people of Hong Kong. I believe the UK also has a moral duty to stop this violation of rights and freedoms now.
“Liberal Democrats are therefore urging the Government to take decisive action and reopen the British National Overseas Passport offer and extend it to give the people of Hong Kong the right to live in the UK.”