International Secretary Dominic Raab mentioned China’s passing of a debatable nationwide safety legislation in Hong Kong is “a grave step”.
He mentioned China had neglected world tasks by way of taking new powers which might curb civil liberties.
Hong Kong’s closing British governor, Lord Patten, mentioned the transfer had breached agreements made with the United Kingdom prior to the town was once passed over in 1997.
The ones agreements assured positive rights for 50 years.
“In spite of the urging of the world neighborhood, Beijing has selected to not step again from implementing this law. China has neglected its world tasks relating to Hong Kong. It is a grave step, which is deeply troubling,” mentioned Mr Raab.
The overseas secretary mentioned the United Kingdom would come to a decision what motion to take when it sees the whole law, which has no longer but been revealed.
Labour’s shadow overseas secretary Lisa Nandy informed Mr Raab within the Area of Commons that he “should no longer waver” over his obligations to the folks of Hong Kong.
Mr Raab mentioned that “we absolutely intend to peer thru” plans to switch visa laws to supply hundreds of thousands of other people in Hong Kong a technique to achieve UK citizenship.
Top Minister Boris Johnson mentioned he was once “deeply involved” in regards to the legislation, however added he would no longer be drawn into “sinophobia” over different problems, corresponding to the verdict to permit Huawei apparatus for use in Britain’s 5G cell information community.
Hong Kong’s leader govt Carrie Lam mentioned the brand new legislation would fill gaps within the territory’s nationwide safety law and would simplest have an effect on a small collection of other people.
However with the town having observed expanding unrest and a widening pro-democracy motion, there are fears the legislation criminalising secession, subversion and collusion with overseas forces may just mark the tip of its freedoms.
‘Path to citizenship’
Civil liberties, together with the appropriate to protest, freedom of speech and the independence of the judiciary, had been enshrined within the Fundamental Legislation, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution that got here into impact with the tip of British keep an eye on in 1997.
The 50-year settlement is claimed to enforce a “one nation, two methods” concept, as it gives Hong Kong rights and freedoms that don’t exist in mainland China.
Lord Patten, who oversaw the handover as governor, mentioned the safety legislation put an finish to this concept and was once a flagrant breach of the settlement between Britain and China.
The United Kingdom has up to now mentioned it is going to trade its immigration laws and be offering hundreds of thousands of other people in Hong Kong some way of obtaining UK citizenship if the legislation is handed.
Top Minister Boris Johnson mentioned he would give further rights to British Nationwide (In a foreign country) passport holders. Round 350,000 other people in Hong Kong have this passport and an extra 2.6m are eligible.
They might be allowed visa-free go back and forth to the United Kingdom for 12 months, along side the appropriate to paintings, which “may just position them on a path to citizenship,” Mr Johnson mentioned.