UK lawmakers call for BN(O) residency rights - RTHK
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UK lawmakers call for BN(O) residency rights

2019-11-06 HKT 01:25
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  • British lawmakers issued the report ahead of a general election in December. Image: Shutterstock
    British lawmakers issued the report ahead of a general election in December. Image: Shutterstock
An influential committee of British lawmakers has urged the London government to grant Hong Kong people who hold British National (Overseas) passports the right to live and work in the United Kingdom.

In a report, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee also expressed concern that continuing participation by British judges in the SAR's Court of Final Appeal could lead it to "inadvertently appear complicit in supporting and participating in a system that is undermining the rule of law".

"We recommend that the government coordinates its response to the Hong Kong crisis with the governments of Australia, Canada and New Zealand as judiciaries represented in the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal," the committee said in its report.

"We further recommend that the government extends the right of abode to Hong Kong residents who are British National (Overseas) passport holders as a means of reassurance that the UK cares about its nationals."

About 170,000 people hold BN(O) passports according to figures from Britain's Home Office, although more than three million Hongkongers born before the 1997 handover are eligible for BN(O) status.

The committee also said it had heard "alarming evidence about the extent of China's influence" in British universities, which it said had prompted remarkably little debate unlike in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

The report, entitled "A cautious embrace: defending democracy in an age of autocracies", was published on Monday, the last day before Parliament was dissolved for Britain's snap general election on December 12.