If China passes law, UK to change immigration law for Hong Kong residents
London : British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday announced that the United Kingdom will be changing its immigration laws if China decides to implement the new national security law in Hong Kong.
"Since the handover in 1997, the key has been the precious concept of ‘one country, two systems’, enshrined in Hong Kong’s Basic Law and underpinned by the Joint Declaration signed by Britain and China", Johnson wrote.
He warned that if the new security law is implemented in Hong Kong, it will “curtail its freedoms and dramatically erode its autonomy”.
He described China’s step as being in conflict with the obligations under the Joint Declaration.
“If China imposes its national security law, the British government will change our immigration rules,” Johnson said.
Under the change, holders of British National Overseas passports from Hong Kong would be allowed to enter the UK for a renewable period of 12 months and given further immigration rights, he added, “including the right to work, which could place them on a route to citizenship”.
About 350,000 of the territory’s people currently hold such passports and another 2.5 million would be eligible to apply for them, Johnson said.