The Lord Alton of Liverpool
17 September 2020
Dear Lord Alton,
Thank you for your correspondence to the Foreign Secretary, about the Lifeboat Scheme for Hong Kong.
I am replying as the Minister for Asia.
We have made clear our deep concern over the National Security Law. In his statement to Parliament on 1 July, the Foreign Secretary’s said that the enactment and imposition by China of National Security Legislation for Hong Kong constitutes a clear and serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration.
The Foreign Secretary made a further statement on 20 July outlining our position and announcing details of our response, including the suspension of the extradition treaty, and extending the embargo on arms sales to include Hong Kong. He also gave an update on the bespoke immigration route for British Nationals (Overseas) and their dependents.
The Home Office published a Visa Policy Statement for BN(O)s on 22 July setting out the details of the route, which provides a clear pathway to citizenship and includes the rights to work and study with no quota or numbers.
We will continue to work with our international partners to stand up for the people of Hong Kong, to call out the violation of their rights and freedoms, and to hold China to their international obligations freely assumed under international law.
With regard to Canada, the Foreign Secretary hosted a visit on 28 August by Canada’s Foreign Minister to discuss foreign policy issues including Hong Kong.
We will not look the other way on Hong Kong, and we will not duck our historic responsibilities to its people.
Nigel Adams MP
Minister of State for Asia