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The Government must stop stalling and hold China to account

November 12, 2020 5:00 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Time and again the Chinese Government has shown its utter disdain for the Joint Declaration.

The disqualification of elected lawmakers in Hong Kong is reprehensible and marks another step in China's work to end democracy and freedom on the peninsula.

The 'one country, two systems' is disappearing before our eyes.

At what point will Dominic Raab step up? The UK must immediately condemn this in the strongest possible terms.

Now is the time for the UK Government to be working with our international partners in the EU and the USA, including President Elect Biden, to pursue legal routes to challenge China's overreach.

Any sanctions must have real weight. For Magnitsky sanctions to be merely "under consideration" now is just not good enough. We need actions, not words.

I'm pleased that I have secured a meeting with the Minister of State in response to my Urgent Question on this issue, but it's important that the Government stops stalling.

The Government must provide safe passage for all Hong Kongers.

Liberal Democrats are also calling on the Government to provide safe passage and a clear route to citizenship for all Hong Kongers.

Currently, the British National Overseas (BNO) citizenship scheme excludes those who need it most. Particularly, it excludes young people who have bravely protested in the best traditions of democracy.

We must protect them.

Alistair Carmichael is pushing for this in a Bill that would grant all Hong Kong citizens a pathway to UK citizenship. Its second reading is due to take place on 15th January 2021, but with repeated reports of police brutality, we need to see measures put in place for an international lifeboat system as a matter of urgency.

It's time for the Government to hold China to account and deliver a robust response.