he UK has granted asylum to a number one democracy activist from Hong Kong as ministers set out a £43 million help bundle for households utilizing a brand new visa route to come back to Britain from its former territory.
International Secretary Dominic Raab mentioned the UK had a proud historical past of offering safety to those that want it as he confirmed Nathan Legislation had been granted asylum.
In the meantime the Authorities set out the assistance that’s on supply for Hongkongers eligible to make use of the brand new visa route to come back to the UK.
Mr Legislation mentioned the Dwelling Workplace had authorized his asylum utility in a transfer which might additional inflame tensions with Beijing.
“The truth that I’m wished below the nationwide safety regulation exhibits that I’m uncovered to extreme political persecution and am unlikely to return to Hong Kong with out danger,” he mentioned.
Mr Raab confirmed the transfer on Thursday, saying: “Former elected Hong Kong politician, Nathan Legislation, has been granted asylum within the UK.
“The UK has a proud historical past of offering safety to those that want it.”
The introduction of the nationwide safety regulation in Hong Kong led the UK to supply a route out of the territory for eligible residents.
Welcome hubs will assist arrivals from Hong Kong entry housing, training and employment to construct a life within the UK, in accordance with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Native Authorities (MHCLG).
Hongkongers with British Nationwide (Abroad) standing and their dependants are eligible for the brand new immigration route, which was introduced within the wake of Beijing’s nationwide safety regulation being imposed on Hong Kong final 12 months.
Councils in England will obtain £30.7 million to offer focused help for brand spanking new arrivals, overlaying further English language help and help with housing prices for many who want it, in accordance with the MHCLG.
Because the areas of help lined by these funds are devolved, £5.8 million might be offered to Scotland, Wales and Northern Eire to ship related exercise.
An additional £5 million will set up 12 digital welcome hubs throughout the UK, with funds for tasks equivalent to native helplines for sensible recommendation and help, whereas the MHCLG will develop devoted Hong Kong academic assets for faculties.
John Track, from grassroots advocacy organisation Stand with Hong Kong, mentioned: “Offering these helps and training programmes might be very important to assist Hongkongers fleeing to the UK to settle and combine.
“Nevertheless, because the joint signatory of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, the UK additionally has a duty to carry China to account for its gross human rights violations.
“The UK must ship a transparent message to China that destroying Hong Kong’s autonomy has penalties.”
The BN(O) standing was created earlier than the UK handed duty for Hong Kong again to China in July 1997.
Below the brand new scheme, these with BN(O) standing might be eligible for UK visas then, after 5 years, they’ll have the ability to apply for settlement, adopted by British citizenship after an additional 12 months.
As of March 19, roughly 27,000 BN(O) standing holders and their relations had utilized for a visa since January.
Between 123,000 and 153,700 BN(O) standing holders and their dependants are anticipated to make use of the path to the UK within the first 12 months, rising to between 258,000 and 322,400 over 5 years.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick mentioned the help bundle ensures the “perfect begin” for BN(O) standing holders and their households, supporting them to “discover a house, faculties for his or her youngsters, alternative and prosperity”.