UK had obligations to Hong Kong citizens
When Hong Kong was handed back under the “one country, two systems” arrangement a number of people had been given BNO passports. Beijing considers the population to be Chinese nationals. The BNO passport gives some rights to its holders, for example to stay in the UK for up to six months however nothing more than that.
Tugendhat said: “The UK had obligations to Hong Kong citizens before 1997, and the extension of overseas citizenship, which is in many ways a second-tier citizenship, was a mistake, and I think it’s one that should be corrected. At a time when there are clearly tensions in Hong Kong, the UK could reassure many Hong Kong citizens that their existing rights are recognised by the UK, and they are valued.”
“I think the point is that the UK has got an opportunity to right a wrong, to give confidence to a people that is clearly very nervous about its future, and understandably so, and I think it’s the right thing to do. And I think all those come together now.”
What comes next?