UK will open citizenship for around 3 million residents from Hong Kong.
Image Credit: AFP/ Getty Images
In retaliation for the new security law, Boris Johnson said that he will open a pathway for 3 million Hong Kong British nationals passport holders to get citizenship in the UK. This move will allow these 3 million residents along with their families, to live and work in the UK.
In the House of Commons, the prime minister pointed out that China introduced the security law, defying the World. He told the Members of Parliament,
‘The enactment and imposition of this national security law constitutes a clear and serious breach of the Sino-British joint declaration’.
‘It violates Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and is in direct conflict with Hong Kong basic law’.
‘The law also threatens the freedoms and rights protected by the joint declaration’.
‘We made clear that if China continued down this path we would introduce a new route for those with British national overseas status to enter the UK, granting them limited right to remain with the ability to live and work in the UK and thereafter to apply for citizenship – and that is precisely what we will do now’.
The UK government will offer to each of these 3 million people, a 5 year period of limited rights. After this period, they may apply for settled status for the next 12 months, after which, they will be eligible for full UK citizenship.
There will be no ‘quotas or number’ imposed, Mr Raab said.
In general, the UK public is supportive in accepting citizens from Hong Kong into the UK, according to a recent poll conducted by the China Research group.