As Labour members and activists, we hold strong our commitment to the principles of human rights and freedom of speech internationally - just as we do at home. It is a deeply disturbing moment in Hong Kong’s history which sees new powers from the Chinese Communist Party signal an end to the one country two systems as we knew it and an end to all that was agreed in the joint declaration. This is a clear breach of China’s international obligation.
As tensions have escalated, so has the excessive force used by the police and with increased measures to repress protests and advocacy for democracy - all actions which have rightly been denounced by UN representatives.
We welcome the Government’s announcement to introduce a bespoke five-year visa for British National (overseas) holders – so they can be safe and join the thousands of other East and South East Asians who call the UK their home. We need to see the policy detail of how this will work, and how the Government will ensure smooth transition and welcome for those resettling in the UK. However not everyone will be covered under this scheme. Our obligation and a right to monitor the implementation of the joint declaration remains. We have a responsibility to consider the welfare of those are not able to re-locate or who wish to remain in Hong Kong.
We urge the Conservative government to enforce Magnitsky sanctions against those who acted against human rights. We must work closely with our international partners for a multilateral approach in defending the freedom and rights of people in Hong Kong.