he UK Authorities confirmed it had granted asylum to Hong Kong pro-democracy campaigner Nathan Legislation because it set out a £43 million assist package deal for households utilizing a brand new visa route to return to Britain.
Mr Legislation is likely one of the faces of the Umbrella Motion, a technology of younger individuals who oppose authoritarianism in Hong Kong.
Overseas Secretary Dominic Raab mentioned on Thursday that the UK had a proud historical past of offering safety to those that want it as he confirmed Mr Legislation had been granted asylum.
Mr Legislation mentioned the Residence Workplace had accepted his asylum utility in a transfer which might additional inflame tensions with Beijing.
“The truth that I’m wished beneath the nationwide safety legislation 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, 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 legislation 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 keeping 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 legislation being imposed on Hong Kong final yr.
Councils in England will obtain £30.7 million to offer focused assist for brand spanking new arrivals, protecting extra English language help and assist with housing prices for many who want it, in keeping with the MHCLG.
Because the areas of assist coated by these funds are devolved, £5.8 million might be offered to Scotland, Wales and Northern Eire to ship related exercise.
An extra £5 million will set up 12 digital welcome hubs throughout the UK, with funds for initiatives equivalent to native helplines for sensible recommendation and help, whereas the MHCLG will develop devoted Hong Kong academic assets for faculties.
John Music, 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.
Underneath the brand new scheme, these with BN(O) standing might be eligible for UK visas then, after 5 years, they are going to have the ability to apply for settlement, adopted by British citizenship after an extra 12 months.
As of March 19, roughly 27,000 BN(O) standing holders and their members of the family 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 yr, rising to between 258,000 and 322,400 over 5 years.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick mentioned the assist package deal 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”.
Further reporting by PA Media.