UK Government says what assessment they have made of (1) the potential for the government of China’s national security law to prevent the departure of citizens from Hong Kong, and (2) the implications of that law for UK citizens and holders of British National (Overseas) passports.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL6549):
Question by Lord Alton pf Liverpool:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of (1) the potential for the government of China’s national security law to prevent the departure of citizens from Hong Kong, and (2) the implications of that law for UK citizens and holders of British National (Overseas) passports. (HL6549)
Tabled on: 07 July 2020
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:
As the Foreign Secretary set out in his statement to Parliament on 1 July, the Government has carefully assessed China’s national security law for Hong Kong, and found that it contains a number of measures that directly threaten the freedoms and rights protected by the Sino-British Joint Declaration.
In recognition of this, the Government has developed a bespoke immigration route for BN(O)s and their dependants, which will allow them to come to the UK to live, work, or study, and provide a pathway to citizenship.
The Foreign Secretary has said that preventing the departure of British Nationals (Overseas) from Hong Kong would represent a serious reputational risk for China, given its role as a leading member of the international community. We continue to work closely with international partners to urge China to uphold its international commitments.
The Foreign and Commonwealth’s Travel Advice pages for Hong Kong have been updated since the passage of this law. They make clear that China’s mainland authorities could, under certain circumstances, detain and try individuals under the terms of the new national security law. There is therefore a risk for those who commit an offence under the law of being detained and removed to mainland China. We have encouraged people to avoid protests and demonstrations.
Date and time of answer: 21 Jul 2020 at 16:31.