23-25 October 2020 – the long weekend’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats push for expansion of Hong Kong citizenship offer
  • PM’s failure to listen to scientists has made family Christmas less likely
  • Tories must “wake up to reality” and do the right thing on Free School Meals

Liberal Democrats push for expansion of Hong Kong citizenship offer

A Liberal Democrat Bill to grant all Hong Kong Citizens a pathway to UK citizenship and “strengthen the UK’s historic bond with the people of Hong Kong” is scheduled to have its Second Reading debate in the House of Commons today.

The Bill, tabled by Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael, Chair of the APPG on Hong Kong and Patron of Hong Kong Watch, would create a route to UK citizenship for all Hong Kongers.

By expanding British National Overseas (BNO) status to all Hong Kongers, the Bill goes well beyond the Conservative Government’s current citizenship commitments, which extend only to specific groups currently eligible to claim BNO status.

The Liberal Democrats have condemned the Home Office’s “deceptive” claim that the cost of a five-year visa for Hong Kongers will be just £250, as the true figure will be well over £3000 once the Immigration Health Surcharge is taken into account.

Ahead of the Bill’s scheduled calling, Alistair Carmichael, Liberal Democrat MP, Chair of the APPG on Hong Kong and Patron of Hong Kong Watch said:

Many Hong Kongers have suffered grave persecution at the hands of the Chinese Regime. We have a moral duty to act.

By providing a clear route to citizenship for all Hong Kongers, my Bill will strengthen the UK’s historic bond with the people of Hong Kong and show our continued commitment to the Joint Declaration, something that the Chinese regime has utterly betrayed.

We also need to make sure that the citizenship offer is affordable. The Home Office’s claim that it will only cost £250 is deceptive given the upfront costs of the Immigration Health Surcharge.

I urge the Conservatives to do the right thing for all of the people of Hong Kong and back this Bill today. In addition, we need to see measures to put in place an international lifeboat system as a matter of urgency, should the situation deteriorate further.

PM’s failure to listen to scientists has made family Christmas less likely

Responding to reports that the Prime Minister’s “ambition” is for people to celebrate Christmas with their families, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

The Prime Minister failed to listen to the scientists over the past few months and, as a result, family Christmas has become less likely not more likely.

Liberal Democrats backed the experts in their call for a short sharp nationwide circuit breaker to stem the virus well ahead of Christmas and give the government time to fix the broken Test, Trace and Isolate system.

The awful truth is this government has lost control of the virus and it’s costing lives and livelihoods. People up and down the country are desperate for Boris Johnson to get of a grip of the situation well before Christmas.

Tories must “wake up to reality” and do the right thing on Free School Meals

Responding to comments from the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, speaking on today’s Andrew Marr show, suggesting that the Government will not change its position on Free School Meals, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

Tory Ministers must stop defending the indefensible on free school meals. We are in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, and the Conservatives have chosen to cut off a lifeline for the poorest children in the country.

Communities and businesses who have stepped up where the Government has failed shows where the true heart of this nation lies. The Conservatives must wake up to reality and do the right thing.

The Liberal Democrats will keep calling for the Conservatives to do the right thing to ensure vulnerable children do not go hungry in school holidays. We are also fighting for the extension of Free School Meals, so that they go to every child from a family receiving Universal Credit.

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One Comment

  • Gerald Stewart 27th Oct '20 - 12:09pm

    News for Ed, nobody controls a virus. It was misleading rubbish for the priminister to suggest it was possible and it is equally misleading rubbish for Ed, and Kier for that matter, to score points by suggesting that the priminister has lost something he never had. If anything the virus controls us by forcing us to make changes to our behaviour. It can of course be contained or mitigated against. Time to stop the baby talk and cheap sloganeering, on all sides of the debate.

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