UPDATE 04/09/19: Hong Kong Leader Carrie Lam has said she will withdraw the highly controversial Extradition Bill, which has triggered months of protests.
As a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, we are keeping a watching brief on any developments.
Firstly, I share the deep concerns raised about the proposed changes to Hong Kong’s extradition laws. A temporary suspension of these proposals is not enough. They should be scrapped completely and formally withdrawn.
On Monday 22 July 2019, the Government was asked an Urgent Question on Hong Kong. If you haven’t already you can watch the question here: https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/fc97ee06-0017-4e20-8491-4c2e9aaf7398
I believe the proposals could cause a chilling effect on Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms, guaranteed by the 1984 Sino-British joint declaration and enshrined in the Hong Kong Basic Law. As such, I believe they would be a fundamental breach of the one country, two systems principle.
Secondly, and more widely, I am concerned by the steady erosion of compliance over recent years with the joint declaration. I believe the recent protests over the extradition proposals should prompt serious reflection on the condition of democracy in Hong Kong, and on the increasing crackdown on dissent and protest.
The situation in Hong Kong is getting more and more serious by the day. I believe the protesters’ demonstrations are the culmination of years of frustration and based on the fear of interference by Beijing in Hong Kong affairs. I believe it is time for some significant change.
The Government must, of course, maintain its commitment to upholding Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms under the one county, two systems principle.
Calls for an independent inquiry have so far been met with a less than satisfactory response. I believe the Government should therefore continue to press for such an inquiry to take place.
I will be following this matter very closely.