Tag Archives: hong kong

1 July 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Govt must not abandon Hong Kong youth
  • Govt must stop overlooking green investment to create sustainable jobs

Govt must not abandon Hong Kong youth

Following Raab’s statement that China has broken the Joint Declaration by imposing the new ‘security law’ on Hong Kong, and that the UK govt will now be offering a path to citizenship for BNO status holders, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson and Chair of the APPG on Hong Kong Alistair Carmichael said:

It is right that the UK Government are taking swift action to help protect the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong, but they must go

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30 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Govt must act swiftly in face of new law to uphold promises to Hong Kong
  • UK economy will need a Green Recovery Plan to recover
  • Johnson’s speech offers no green recovery plan and no help for vulnerable people
  • Tories’ Immigration Bill will deal enormous blow to NHS and British business

Govt must act swiftly in face of new law to uphold promises to Hong Kong

Responding to reports that China has passed a sweeping national security law giving it new powers over Hong Kong, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson and Chair of the APPG on Hong Kong Alistair Carmichael said:

This new law crushes what

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9 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems secure cross-party call for Govt to take up Hong Kong Bill
  • Govt must prevent disadvantaged pupils falling behind due to COVID-19
  • Govt must help businesses and people excluded from support schemes
  • Govt wrong to deny Brexit extension

Lib Dems secure cross-party call for Govt to take up Hong Kong Bill

The Liberal Democrats have secured cross-party support demanding the Prime Minister take up legislation to go further in UK support for Hong Kong.

The cross-party groups of MPs, led by Alistair Carmichael MP, has secured the support of former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in calling for a UK response to Beijing’s recent attempts to force a new national security law on Hong Kong.

Amidst reports of Hong Kong police firing tear gas and water cannons at several hundred demonstrators, the Government announced last week new measures to support visa rights and a path to citizenship for current British Nationals (Overseas) holders in Hong Kong.

However, the cross-party group of over 50 MPs want the Government to go further and take up Alistair Carmichael’s Hong Kong Bill for parliamentary consideration, which would also ensure greater oversight over each party’s adherence to the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

MPs from all parties and all political persuasions are backing Hong Kong with one voice today. We are calling on the Government to take up the Hong Kong Bill on a cross-party basis for debate and amendment. This is a critical moment.

That the Government has started to take action to support BNO status holders is welcome. We can and must go further, however. Measures including targeted sanctions and a reopening of the BNO passport offer deserve a full hearing.

Beijing is on the verge of wiping out the basic freedoms of Hongkongers with its draconian law. The Government must stand with us and take up legislative action to support the people of Hong Kong.

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Support Hong Kong. Boycott HSBC and First Direct.

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A few days ago, June 4th, marked the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests. It also marked the day that HSBC would announce the disappointing news that they were standing with China in support of its new “security” law.

It would be naive to think that the bank, which in its advertising has described itself as a “global citizen” actually cares about the citizens of Hong Kong. However by doing this they are making the assumption that you also do not care about the citizens of Hong Kong. Or, at the very least, you do not care about it enough to close any accounts you have with them.

With eight million customers in the UK, across their First Direct and HSBC brands, I’m not going to pretend that a few committed activists shutting their accounts will cause them to row back on their policy, but, that being said, I for one am also not content with sitting and doing nothing. I cannot “support” a business with my custom which chooses to favour a totalitarian state that quashes free speech and backs a law which has led to sustained protests in Hong Kong.

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Dominic Raab – Your proposal is neither practical nor financially feasible

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The Foreign Secretary had just announced a proposal on extending ‘leave to stay’ for British National (Overseas) passport holders from 6 months to 12 months if China forced the Hong Kong authorities to enact the National Security Law. It is still a short-term visa and the Government will need to clarify what “extendable with a pathway to the Citizenship” means. It seems the ‘Leave’ allows work and study during the 12 months stay, which will allow BN(O) status holders to live in the country.

The mechanisms on how the ambiguous proposal will work is all subject to the clarification from the Home Office and Foreign Office. Putting the many ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ in the statement aside, the Foreign Office clearly may not have thought the proposal thoroughly before announcement. If you went through the details, you will find the proposal is full of flaws. One of the biggest issues will be the financial burden to the BN(O) holders.

With reference to the dominating speculation that the visa can be extended, BN(O) holders will need to pay £1,033 each time he/she applies or extends his/her visa, and an additional £400 for covering the NHS surcharge. From October onwards, it will be increased to £624. Therefore, the cost for extending their visa will be £1,657 each time.

If the BN(O) holders wanted to convert their passports to British Citizenship (known as ‘Registration’), under the current system, they need to first be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), and stayed in UK for another year before they can Register. ILR application fee is £2,389 and £1,206 for Registration.

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3 June 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Welsh Lib Dems welcome plans for phased school re-opening
  • China is being wilfully ignorant with Hong Kong response
  • Govt not clear on legal powers to implement local lockdowns
  • Govt must not risk going backwards on containing COVID-19
  • MPs need to urgently restore the virtual Parliament

Welsh Lib Dems welcome plans for phased school re-opening

Commenting on Kirsty Williams’s announcement of a phased return to school from the end of the month, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:

Once again Kirsty Williams is setting the bar with regards to how a Government should be communicating at times like this.

She has clearly laid out her plans, and the rationale behind them, in an upfront manner. This will give parents, children and teaching staff the reassurance they need.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are committed to getting our children back in the classroom and learning as soon, but only when it is safe to do so.

I am therefore pleased to see that no child is forced to go back, especially those who are shielding themselves or who have family that are shielding.

China is being wilfully ignorant with Hong Kong response

Responding to reports that China has warned the UK to “step back from the brink” over UK criticism of Beijing’s national security law for Hong Kong, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

China’s Foreign Ministry are being wilfully ignorant. The Sino-British Joint Declaration was not a unilateral announcement but a clear joint legal text, lodged at the UN. The clue is in the name.

Both the UK and China made promises to the people of Hong Kong during the Handover. Under the Joint Declaration, Hong Kong’s ‘one country, two systems’ way of life was to be protected and enhanced.

Beijing has shown increasing contempt for the Joint Declaration and it is clear that the government must now ensure all Hong Kongers are given the right to live in the UK. Liberal Democrats will continue to urge the UK Government to expand the BNO offer they have outlined.

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29 May 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Govt must fulfil duty to protect all Hong Kongers
  • Clarity needed about 5-mile rule
  • High coronavirus threat level raises questions about Govt’s priorities
  • Davey responds to furlough scheme details

Govt must fulfil duty to protect all Hong Kongers

Responding to reports that, if China imposes its new security law on Hong Kong, the Home Office appears ready to extend visa rights for all British Nationals (Overseas) in Hong Kong, whether or not they are current BNO passport holders, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

If confirmed, this is welcome news. This move is long overdue.

I introduced legislation to give the people of Hong Kong the right to live in the UK back in February. I am glad the government is finally listening.

Beijing has repeatedly shown contempt for the Sino-British Declaration. Under that Declaration, the UK has a duty to the people of Hong Kong.

The government must now ensure all Hong Kongers are protected. Relatively few people have BNO status as the offer was closed years ago.

My cross-party Hong Kong Bill would reopen the passport offer to also give young Hong Kongers the right to live in the UK, regardless of whether they are a dependent of a BNO status holder. I am urging the government to do this immediately.

Clarity needed about 5-mile rule

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have today called on the Welsh Government to give urgent clarity around the new 5-mile rule and how it effects different areas of Wales.

In the Welsh Government announcement today First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that two individuals would be allowed to meet, so long as they maintained social distancing.

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Britain’s stick – The Hong Kong Bill (Part 2)

Regardless of political affiliations, we can agree that Britain must find its voice on Hong Kong. In the last article we looked at the Hong Kong Bill correcting historic irregularities on British Nationality. The Right of Abode for British Nationals (Overseas) British passport holders is UK’s crucial response to protect all her people. It is also a tangible action, since it provides passage to these Isles. Yet, our diplomatic approach should be proactive and capable to respond to future threats.

Therefore, we move on to the next provisions of the Hong Kong Bill.

A regular report on the safety of British nationals in Hong Kong is necessary and it will provide the guidance to enact sanctions on person(s) or institution(s) if necessary. The Chinese government have made it clear that the National Security Law forced upon Hong Kong will be conducted under Chinese concepts. Special courts will be set up and legal representatives must be Chinese nationals.

So what makes ‘Chinese legal concepts’ so worrying? Under Chinese Law as simple as reporting, suggesting or researching meteorological data, outbreak of diseases like the situation in Wuhan back in December 2019 and food safety without authorisation or adhering to official lines is considered as subverting national security. China also rules by law instead of applying the rule of law. Its courts are known to protect the Party first and foremost when cases are heard.

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28 May 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Govt have “moral duty” to act given Beijing’s contempt for Joint Declaration
  • Govt must look closely at conflicting guidance on risks of schools reopening
  • Davey: Either PM and Ministers lied or have no understanding of lockdown rules
  • Govt must now give all Hong Kongers BNO Passport
  • Lib Dems: PM reaches new low in attempt to keep Cummings

Govt have “moral duty” to act given Beijing’s contempt for Joint Declaration

Responding to reports that China’s legislature has approved a new security law for Hong Kong, which would make it a crime to undermine Beijing’s authority in the territory, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:

This vote demonstrates Beijing’s contempt for the Joint Declaration. It is an unforgivable move that threatens the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.

The UK Government must take immediate action. We have a legal and moral duty.

It is time to urgently reopen the BNO Passport offer and extend it to give the people of Hong Kong the right to live in the UK.

Govt must look closely at conflicting guidance on risks of schools reopening

Responding to the Independent Sage Group report suggesting that reopening schools risks pushing the COVID-19 ‘R’ rate above one, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Layla Moran said:

We all want to see children back in schools as an urgent priority. But not if this risks a new COVID-19 spike. The Government must guarantee that public health will not be put at risk as a result of a premature or rushed effort to get children back into classrooms.

Boris Johnson’s Government has repeatedly claimed to be guided by science. Ministers must now look closely at this Independent report to ascertain why those involved have reached a dramatically different conclusion about the risk of reopening schools next week.

The Government is asking a lot of parents and teachers during this crisis, and parents and teachers deserve clear, honest answers in return. Ministers must provide real clarity around the reasons for their decision in order to ensure that parents and teachers alike can have confidence in their plans.

Any easing of the lockdown – including reopening schools – can only happen once the Government delivers a comprehensive strategy to test, trace and isolate to prevent a new surge.

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24 May 2020 – the day’s press releases

And here are Sunday’s press releases. You may be beginning to discern a pattern here…

  • Govt urged to give Hong Kong citizens the right to live in the UK
  • Tory MPs must back calls for Dominic Cummings to go, and put fight against Coronavirus first
  • PM’s own judgement now in question

Govt urged to give Hong Kong citizens the right to live in the UK

The Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to reopen the British National Overseas Passport offer and extend it to give Hong Kong citizens the right to live in the UK following renewed police violence towards protestors in the Hong …

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Britain’s stick – The Hong Kong Bill (Part 1)

Yesterday, we provided evidence that China’s salami crackdowns are as sinister as a Tiananmen massacre crackdown. ( Article: Fallacy of reasoning from ‘crackdown’ to actions – The new TianAnMen crackdown) Some have wondered what sticks on Peking can be employed by Britain. The Lib Dem Campaigners for Hong Kong campaign for the Hong Kong Bill in 2 parts – 1. Sanctions, and 2. BN(O) rights.

Let us first look at the lighter portion of the bill – #2 BN(O) rights.

British Nationals (Overseas) passport holders are holders of a British passport and a British National. Applicants took up the nationality to agree with the British identity. While no European countries, including multi-nationality pre-unified Germany, forbids right of abode to some of their nationals; Britain created a second-class nationality for Hong Kong. China looks at nationals lightly too. From the Cultural Revolution to Tiananmen massacre, and from locking up Uyghurs in concentration camps to arresting Wuhan doctors who suggested the outbreak of Covid-19; Peking never shy away from human sacrifices in return for Party order. Is it Global Britain to suggest it too cannot protect all her nationals because of political considerations? Even till early this year, the government is anxious about offending China as if considering our immigration matters is sailing gunboats up the South China Sea. Peking must be laughing now. Even with its problems in the pandemic, Peking’s leadership follows Sun Tzu’s doctrine of warfare to the latter to seek attack when all others are in crisis, for this is to emphasise superiority (敵之害大,就勢取利,剛決柔也。). Simply put, “Loot a burning house”. Peking is invalidating a race – the Hongkongers, and British interests in Hong Kong as we battle the Coronavirus pandemic. The word ‘compassion’ was never in its vocabulary. Of course, we are a nation of ethical and moral values, perhaps, only with a short-sighted government. Whether it is a Rule Britannia pride, economic greed because of the average wealth of a potential migrant from Hong Kong or honouring social liberal values; it does rest upon our shoulders to show we stand up for Hong Kong.

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The Hong Kong national security law is the wake up call for civil rights campaigners

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Since the anti-extradition protests began on May 2019, civil rights movement campaigners tried to achieve its means by 3 pillars: Within the legislation assembly, demonstrations, and social media (including overseas campaigns).

Throughout the protest movements, they achieved some successes: The government was forced to withdraw the extradition bill amendment, Hong Kong was the focus of the mass media, and the USA took a number of actions in order to prevent China suppressing the protests by violent means.

However, everything changed for the worse on 21st May 2020.

The Chinese government announced then that they will submit a resolution to the National People’s Congress, which will instruct the Hong Kong government to pass a ‘National Security Law’. It will be included in Annex 3 of the Basic Law, which implied the Chinese National Security Law will be applied in the territory through local legislation or promulgation by the Chief Executive. That means the law can bypass the scrutiny of the legislative assembly in Hong Kong and further erode the legislative and judiciary autonomy of the territory.

The new law will make any of the following activities illegal:

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Fallacy of reasoning from ‘crackdown’ to actions – The new TianAnMen crackdown

In the next few days, Peking will unitarily make the final move to complete her takeover and eliminate the ‘one country two systems’ (‘1C2S’) from Hong Kong. Throughout history, the people of Hong Kong have pushed for higher degree of autonomy and democracy because it is the best defence to their culture and race. The democracy movement was magnified by large-scale protests and aggressions, when China pinned in the final nail to liberty and freedom by getting Carrie Lam to enact the Extradition Bill through dubious legislative procedures in

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Daily View 2×2: 22 May 2020

2 big stories

Speak softly, but carry a big moral stick, seems to be the lesson to be drawn from the Government’s u-turn on the question of the NHS surcharge for migrant health workers. All credit to Keir Starmer for putting the issue in such a way as to give backbench Conservatives cover to press Al and Priti to axe it. And yes, the NHS surcharge is just another way of extorting money out of people who already pay their taxes plus visa fees for the right to work in this country, doing jobs that mostly aren’t attractive to locals, …

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21 May 2020 – today’s press releases (part 3)

  • Parents, children and teachers need answers before schools open
  • Securing the Midlands Manufacturing Prowess – in spite of devastating news of 9000 job cuts at Rolls-Royce
  • Hong Kong power-grab by Beijing condemned
  • Migrant NHS & social care workers must be given must be given right to remain

Parents, children and teachers need answers before schools open

Responding to reports that the scientific advice on the safety of reopening schools will be published tomorrow, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Layla Moran said:

Parents, children and teaching staff are worried about the threat of coronavirus and need reassurances ahead of reopening schools.

Liberal Democrats have demanded from the outset that

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Preaching to confine Hong Kong to the Basic Law is wishful thinking

Thus we left Hong Kong to her fate and hope that Martin Lee, the Leader of the Democrats, would not be arrested

wrote HRH Prince Charles in his diaries as Britannia left Hong Kong on 1 July 1997. Prince Charles’s scepticism harks back to years of brain drain as young professionals lined up to migrate in the 1990s. The Hong Kong people will never give up in fulfilling their destiny to protect their way of life. For those who remained in Hong Kong, they tread carefully. Their only firewall now between Red China and the Island was the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. Sadly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, the 18 April Hong Kong’s Night of the Long Knives is evident that solely entrusting Hong Kong’s future and rule of law to the Basic Law is futile.

Martin Lee is amongst the handful (literally) of liberal politicians invited to draft the Basic Law. Following the TianAnMen Massacre and years of neglect, he found his position in the Drafting Committee untenable. Indeed, in her book Underground Front, Christine Loh noted that Peking have always only wanted legal advisors who are patriotic to the Communist regime. Hong Kong was never given the opportunity of a referendum on the constitution. Crucially, a constitution should be the guiding legal principles to bind the Administration(s) to the rule of law, and based on the framework citizens can bring the Executive to justice. On the contrary, Peking and its interference on subsequent HK Chief Executives, demonstrates its view that it is the citizen’s responsibility to respect and obey the Basic Law’s power wholeheartedly based on interpretations Peking sees fit.

More importantly, the Basic Law is flawed because Peking, holding on to Reserved Powers, is a regime with no respect to the rules-based international order. FCO archives writes “NPC Standing Committee thus retains a power of interpretation of provisions of the BL which are within the SAR’s autonomy, and such interpretations will be binding on the SAR courts … would compromise the autonomy of the SAR judicial system.” Furthermore, Deng XiaoPing has been referenced to say ‘HK affairs should not all be handled by HK people.’ It is conspicuous Peking was never ready to give Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy. Verily, the Chinese Communist Party works on the utilitarianism of Party survival no matter the sacrifices of its image, social culture and people. In a power stability, Mao was ready to inflict the Cultural Revolution; Deng to roll the tanks; and Xi to cover-up on Covid-19. Besides, this is further multiplied by the ingrained Chinese belief of 山高皇帝遠 ‘the lands are vast, but the emperor is far away’. Hunger and fear and without representations are not the recipe to engage all reserved powers at the slightest dissent.

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The Carrie Lam report exposed how the ‘Executive Dominant’ political system failed Hong Kong

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Throughout 2019, Hong Kong was in midst of a political crisis. The non-consulted Extradition Bill triggered protests against the government, then entrenched by police brutality. At the dawn of 2020, the city was hit with the Coronavirus crisis, and the government created a crisis of its own by mismanaging its economic, health and homeland security policies.

Instead of concentrating on protecting the citizens, Chief Executive Carrie Lam seemingly put her effort in filing a complaint on the performance of her own government to the Beijing authorities. The report was leaked to Apple Daily (a Hong Kong-based Chinese language newspaper) and it caused an uproar in the mass media towards her character.

Apple Daily reported on 22/02/2020 that Carrie Lam laid the blame not only on opposition parties and “radical elements” of the protest movements, she fiercely attacked her Executive Council for being incompetent and pro-government parties for being unsupportive, while some pro-government legislators even criticised her with personal attacks. She also asked Beijing to allow those from Hong Kong who were stuck in Wuhan to return home, so ‘the Hong Kongers can feel Beijing actually cared about them’.

This report exposed a few weaknesses in Hong Kong’s political system:

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Why we should do more to support the Hong Kong protest movement

The 2019 General Election Liberal Democrats manifesto calls for standing to a peaceful world; not only because this is our value, but also everyone deserves a better world. When we jointly face challenges in our support for liberal democracies, stable partnerships are often fostered. One such alliance calls for “Honouring our legal and moral duty to the people of Hong Kong by reopening the British National Overseas Passport offer, extending the scheme to provide the right to abode to all holders”. Nonetheless, do words suffice in supporting the civilians in Hong Kong who are among those standing in defiance of brutal dictatorships?

Since the 2019 autumn conference, the situation in Hong Kong deteriorated substantially. By the end of December 2019, more than 7000 protesters had been arrested according to the figures from Hong Kong Police Force. For all that, it did not include those who disappeared after arrests, or those being transported to Mainland China. Two thirds of those arrested were between eleven to twenty five years old, and half of them were students. Some who were reported to have disappeared were later found dead under suspicious circumstances. New York Times investigations revealed police tactics on the day nearly caused a mass stampede as police deployed tear gas without warning, cornering civilians into a dead end. Demonstrators in that incident adverted mass injuries by shattering glass and forcibly entering an office building for refuge.

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The mandate of heaven and coronavirus

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At the risk of appearing crude, crass and unfeeling, this article is going to focus on the political and economic consequential dangers of the coronavirus. This should not be taken in any way as an attempt to belittle the deaths of 805 Chinese (as of the early hours of Sunday morning) or the grief that their friends and families are suffering. Every human life is precious. But as the death toll mounts and the quarantine is extending, the economy suffers and this suffering will result in political consequences.

In Hubei Province there are an estimated 50 million people in quarantine. That is 50 million people who are now not working. Neither are they in the shops, restaurants or cinemas spending money. The Chinese government have imposed severe travel restrictions throughout the country and restricted gatherings in public places in every major city.

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18 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Arcuri interview suggests Johnson abused his position as Mayor
  • Umunna: Repressive scenes in Hong Kong are ‘totally unacceptable’
  • Lib Dems: Leadsom shows Tories have no answers to key questions facing businesses
  • Swinson: Liberal Democrats will scrap business rates

Arcuri interview suggests Johnson abused his position as Mayor

Responding to Jennifer Arcuri’s interview on ITV last night, Liberal Democrat Shadow Culture Secretary Layla Moran said:

The evidence is mounting that the Prime Minister, the then mayor of London at the time, absolutely abused his position to forward the business interests of his friend Jennifer Arcuri. This flouts the very rules he was meant to uphold and is

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1 October 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Rise in homeless deaths demands end of Vagrancy Act
  • UK govt must not be silent on situation in Hong Kong
  • Tories cannot call themselves the law and order party
  • Cable: End ‘weaponising’ of social care

Rise in homeless deaths demands end of Vagrancy Act

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has renewed her call for the Vagrancy Act to be scrapped following the publication of new ONS statistics revealing a rise in the deaths of homeless people in 2018.

The ONS data shows that there were an estimated 726 deaths in 2018, an increase of over 20% on the previous year. The highest numbers of deaths were …

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4 September 2019 – today’s press releases

Time to put Liberal Democrat Voice to bed for the night, unlike our Parliamentary Party in the Lords, who are preparing for a long night of voting to stop Conservatives filibustering.

It’s been a dramatic day in Westminster, although there seem to be no shortage of those these days. But the media operations continues regardless…

  • Kicking the can down the road will not prevent Windrush-style scandal for EU citizens
  • Lib Dems: We have a duty to stand with the people of Hong Kong
  • Davey slams Spending Review as “fantasy figures”
  • Jane Dodds delivers maiden speech in Parliament
  • PM cannot be allowed to use an election to

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18 July 2019 – yesterday’s press releases

There was a bit of a glitch yesterday, as the press releases ended up in my spam folder for some reason. Things seem to be back to normal, so the usual service resumes here…

  • Welsh Lib Dems – time to embrace zero-carbon housing
  • Lib Dems: EU resolution a vital step in UK’s duty to stand up for people of Hong Kong
  • Davey demands urgent action as knife crime epidemic continues to spread
  • Umunna: OBR report shows No Deal Brexit would be unforgivable
  • Lib Dems: Johnson’s ‘fishy tales’ have no plaice in Number Ten
  • Lib Dems: Milestone victory to block no-deal
  • Gauke talks the talk but can’t walk

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2 July 2019 – today’s press releases

Umunna: Johnson Brexit policy will result in £90bn hit to the public purse

The Chancellor has today confirmed that the Government is already having to hold back £26-27 billion of fiscal headroom to deal with the disastrous impact of a No Deal exit from the European Union, and that even more than that will be needed. Furthermore, the Government’s own analysis shows that a disruptive No Deal Brexit will hit the public purse by £90 billion as a minimum.

Commenting on the Chancellor Phillip Hammond’s remarks, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Treasury and Business, Chuka Umunna MP, said:

Boris Johnson plans to give

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A global advert for the Hong Kong Anti Extradition Bill campaign – implications for the Remain Campaign

An advertisement to support the Hong Kong Anti Extradition Movement appeared in 14 newspapers around the world on 27th June. The press was puzzled by 2 questions: who created the campaign and how did they manage to execute it?

Two million Hong Kong citizens participated in the Hong Kong anti extradition bill protest on 21st June. The protesters made three demands:

  1. the amendment of the bill to be retracted;
  2. the definition of the clashes between police and civilians on 12th June as ‘riot’ to be retracted; and,
  3. an independent commission to be formed in order to investigate the police behaviour on 12th June.

The Hong …

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Protesting the Hong Kong Extradition Bill – the story so far…

A million Hong Kong citizens went on a peaceful demonstration in Hong Kong on 12th June 2019 protesting against the government’s proposed Extradition Bill. Not only did the government refuse the demands of the demonstrators to retract the Bill, but they also described the movement as a “riot”. The police used heavy handed tactics to disperse the crowds including deployment of tear gas and pepper water spray, cornering and beating up protesters with police clubs and the making of arrests.

The government’s tactics infuriated those citizens who had not joined the demonstration, including those residing in overseas. The death of a …

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18 June 2019 – today’s press releases

Cable: Looks like Boris will lie down and let Heathrow expansion happen

Responding to the publication of Heathrow’s plan for a third runway which will include diverting rivers, moving roads and rerouting the M25 through a tunnel under the new runway, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Twickenham MP Vince Cable said:

Expanding Heathrow is the wrong decision for the country and for South West London, where air pollution, air traffic noise, and congestion are already a blight. Heathrow’s plan all but confirms this.

The economics of Heathrow expansion also look questionable at best while it will do nothing for regional economies. Above

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How Brexit diminishes the rights of British Nationals overseas

I was in Hong Kong in March, and most of my friends had asked me the same question: How’s the progress with BN(O) equal rights movement and how did Brexit affect it?

So what is BN(O)? It stands for British National (Overseas). According to the Home Office website, it means ‘Someone who was a British overseas territories citizen by connection with Hong Kong was able to register as a BN(O) before 1 July 1997.’ They are not granted Right of Abode anywhere, including the UK and HK.

The strict terms of BN(O) made most think that it is a travel document, but it is more than that, such as:

  1. They are eligible to join Her Majesty’s Civil Service, and are eligible to vote if they have lived in the UK for more than six months;
  2. may become British citizens by registration after residing in the UK for more than five years and possessing ILR for more than one year;
  3. would not be subjected to the annual quota of 1000 people if they wanted to apply to stay in UK under the working holiday scheme;
  4. their status is for life and is not be lost in case of Dual or Multiple Nationality, though their siblings cannot inherit the status.

According to the official figures, currently there are more than 800,000 BN(O) holders. Although the numbers are dwindling, they have no intention to withdraw it, and still use the passport to travel overseas. 

Our former leader Lord Paddy Ashdown campaigned for giving BN(O) holders the right of abode since years ago. There was also a seminar organised by the House of Lord with various campaign groups to call for the extension of BN(O) rights in March this year. 

The goal of the campaign groups is to fight for extending their rights. In a radio interview, Choy Ki, one of the representatives of BN(O) Association, mentioned, ‘BN(O) is not only a travel document, but a national identity with a lot of rights under the jurisdiction of the UK.’

The current political spectrum, however, has complicated the issue. For BN(O) holders, Brexit means our visa free travelling status to our EU neighbours could no longer be available. This is important because EU member states offered visa free travel for the HK passport holders, and most BN(O) holders are eligible to obtain one.

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LibLink: Alistair Carminchael: The people of Hong Kong look to the UK to keep the promises we made to them

This week in Parliament, Alistair Carmichael asked an urgent question on the Foreign Office’s lack of action per the conviction of Hong King’s Umbrella Movements’s leaders. The Umbrella Movement had protested for 79 days for free and fair elections in 2015.

This week nine of the Umbrella Movement’s leaders were convicted of rarely used public order offences from the days of colonial rule. Chris Patten, the last British Governor of Hong Kong, described it as being “appallingly divisive to use anachronistic common law charges in a vengeful pursuit of political events which took place in 2014”.

The response of our own Foreign Office was a silence. How embarrassing, and not for the first time.

It was only 1997 that the UK handed Hong Kong back to China. It was a handover that allowed the UK to divest itself of another vestige of empire while entering into a treaty with China which sought to provide autonomy of the former colony and a continued progression towards democracy. It was Chris Patten’s not insubstantial legacy which gave both Britain and China obligations for fifty years until 2047.

He was quick to point out a former Lib Dem leader who had stood up so vociferously for the people of Hong Kong:

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 3 Comments

10 April 2019 – today’s press releases

Moran: Recognition of Palestine cannot wait a moment longer

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has today called on the UK Government to recognises Palestine following the Israeli election.

Ms Moran, the first MP of Palestinian decent, previously introduced the Palestinian Statehood (Recognition) Bill which would require the UK Government to recognise the State of Palestine within 3 months of the Bill being passed. It had support from Lib Dem, Labour, SNP, Plaid and Green MPs.

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran said:

The dead heat between Gantz and Netanyahu means uncertainty for Palestinians continues. We now wait with baited breath for the

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments
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