The United Kingdom’s government is making serious plans to open its doors to migrants from Hong Kong. This decision has been in the pipeline for a while as it was announced in 2020.
The program is intended to allow migrants from this Asian country to live, study, or work in the United Kingdom for no more than 5 years. However, there is also the possibility that the program will lead to eventual citizenship for many of them.
China Blatantly Opposed to the Arrangement
This decision which is good news to many Hong Kong indigents is disapproved by the Chinese authorities. They lay claim to the fact that it threatens Chinese sovereignty as the European nation is meddling with the domestic affairs of the country.
On the contrary, the United Kingdom’s authorities see no way their act is violating international law. They stress how magnifying the powers of China in Hong Kong violates the handover agreement of 1997.
In a diplomatic fight-back attempt, the Chinese government recently stated that it will cease recognizing passports from the United Kingdom as an identification or travel document.
The UK’s Estimated Beneficiaries
While the program is open to about 3 million people who could register, the plan is to have no more than 300,000 people as eventual beneficiaries. This means that the screening and eventual choice of candidates will be strenuous for the concerned parties.
Possible Challenges for Hong Kong
However, the Hong Kong economy is also likely going to experience some downturns as a result of the implementation of this policy. This is given the fact that a reported 36 billion pounds will be gone as capital outflows in the process.
Furthermore, current measures taken to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Hong Kong is expected to adversely affect the registration process. However, the situation is going to be addressed later in February once an online application is made to aid the registration process.
If one thing is certain, it is the fact that the implementation of this policy will cause tension between the Chinese and UK authorities.