What is the Government doing to defend human rights and autonomy in Hong Kong? Lords to debate
On Thursday 24 October members of the House of Lords will debate the UK's moral and legal obligations to the people of Hong Kong, and question the Government's actions in defending human rights and autonomy from China. Tabled by Lord Alton of Liverpool, the motion reads:
Lord Alton of Liverpool to move that this House takes note of the recent political unrest in Hong Kong, and of the calls to offer residents of Hong Kong citizenship in another country.
Alongside Lord Alton of Liverpool, members scheduled to speak include:
- Lord Alderdice
- Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle
- Lord Chidgey
- Baroness Falkner of Margravine
- Baroness Grey-Thompson
- Lord Howell of Guildford
- Lord Loomba
- Lord Luce
- Lord McNicol
- Baroness Northover
- Lord Patten of Barnes
- Lord Pendry
- Lord Popat
- Lord Wilson of TILLYORN
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon will respond on behalf of the Government.
Speaking ahead of the debate Lord Alton of Liverpool said:
“The purpose of Thursday's forthcoming debate on Hong Kong is to highlight the reasons why as many as two million people have felt compelled to participate in popular mass protests.
“They have been defending the rule of law, democracy, human rights and free speech – the fundamental principles of the “two systems one country” commitment enshrined in the international treaty, the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 signed by the UK and China – a way of life which has been placed at grave risk.
“The House of Lords debate will provide members with an opportunity to shine a light on the increasing authoritarianism of Beijing's Communist regime, which recently marked the 70th anniversary of one-party rule, and to link this increasing authoritarianism with the disquiet in Hong Kong.
“Over 170 Parliamentarians, from both Houses, recently wrote to the Foreign Secretary urging him to seek international support, including Commonwealth support, for an “insurance policy” which provides for second citizenship and a right of abode elsewhere in the world to Hong Kong residents.
“I strongly believe that Hong Kong ought to have the right to self-determination within a democratic system; that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Rule of Law must be respected in Hong Kong; and that, in the light of recent attempts to emasculate Hong Kong's autonomy and human rights, we have a duty to make it clear to Beijing that we will stand with Hong Kong in their hour of need and provide alternatives for them should the need arise.”
The debate is expected to start at some point after 11.30am on Thursday 24 October 2019, and is the third debate scheduled.