Matt Kilcoyne is entirely correct here in The Times. We said that when we handed over Hong Kong we’d be guaranteeing, as far as we were able, the rights contained within the agreement. Those rights are rather under threat at present, we must do something. As we’ve not enough gunboats these days – nor opium – we’ll need to do something else:
Nearly 200,000 Hong Kong citizens are British nationals. But this is an empty citizenship; they cannot move here, live here or study here. We should let them live in the UK like any other British citizen. We should go further, too. Every Hongkonger should have the choice to live in this country, a new home if darkness should fall. It would be a huge boost for Britain to welcome highly skilled, entrepreneurial, freedom-loving individuals to our shores. We should let the people of Hong Kong know that we hear them sing for freedom.
That’s a very good something else, in fact it’s an excellent something else. Which is why Bernard Levin thought of it first. His proposal was just that. ‘Ave an HK passport? You have the right of residence in the UK.
With, it has to be said, just the one little proviso. You’ve only got that right of residence in Liverpool. Which we’ll turn into a free port at the same time.
Clever man Levin, sorting out both Hong Kong and Liverpool at the same time.