Hong Kong

The Chinese authorities attempted to introduce a right of appeal of Hong Kong court cases to the mainland, seeking to put HK law more firmly under China’s control. This deeply unpopular move sparked many protests in Hong Kong and led to running fights between the police and the protesters. A hapless Chief Executive tried to persuade a split legislature that this was an benign and sensible move, without success.  

Grasping the opportunity of the Covid 19 preoccupations of the rest of the world, China has now moved to legislate her supremacy in Beijing, bypassing the Hong Kong legislature. The new law will allow either the Hong Kong police or Chinese officials to determine if someone’s democratic protest amounts to treason or sedition. Wanting independence is banned.

Mr Trump has responded strongly to this development. Each year by law the President has to confirm that Hong Kong is still sufficiently independent of China to qualify for the continuing special trade deal it enjoys with the USA. He says he is not willing to do so, given the new incursions on Hong Kong independence. This will mean Hong Kong business will face the same tariffs, bans and penalties as trade from mainland China to the USA does.

The UK is the co signatory of the Treaty  with China to establish Hong Kong  as part of China under the one country two systems mantle. The two systems were meant to encompass the right of Hong Kong to settle many of its own matters and court cases in return for maintained access and privileges to western markets. What action should the UK take to seek to  uphold this Treaty? Is it right to offer UK residence to Hong Kong citizens?

The famous clauses 18 and 19 which provide for Hong Kong judicial and law making independence do also contain a provision allowing the imposition of Chinese national laws when there is a break down in government in Hong Kong.

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223 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Indeed but what can be done? It is not even in China’s interests to do this.

    “The lefts’s silence over HSBC is deafening“ as the sensible Douglas Murray put it today in the Telegraph.

    Plus they still charge the absurd rate of 40% to everyone on their rip off overdrafts 400 times what they pay you on deposits and the base rate of 0.1%. They blame this on the FCA rules brought in when under the leadership of Andrew Bailey whom, it seems, thinks that banks should be forced lend to good and bad customers at the interest same rate and be part of Social Services. To my mind this shows total economic illiteracy. Yet no one seem to question this other than Mr Bone – and he got no sensible answer from the minister.

    I assume this economic illiteracy was why Bailey got the BoE job?

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    It is disappointing that mankind has not yet outgrown the age of dictators and self-declared emperors.

    there is only one solution, an economic blockade, by all full democracies, who must stand up for universal human rights and the rule of law.

    • BW
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      I agree. However That would be a little difficult as China is entrenched in our economics. Take a look around. It is hard to find or buy anything that has not been made in a China. My iPhone was assembled in a China. Our phone networks are being consumed. Our army uniforms are made in China. I wanted to buy a jump starter kit for my bike. Yep made in China. Consumers will always seek out the cheapest bargain and China has Capitalised on that ( no pun intended). They are producing a TV now with the highest speck at half the price. That is a saving of £500. If we don’t buy from China where in the U.K. it it manufactured. Probably nowhere. We only do nail bars coffee shops. If you want to buy British you need to pay more as our workforce is very expensive.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      What, like people who prorogue the only representation that the people of the UK have, in order to push through their own extreme, minority interpretation, of what was no more than an opinion poll, you mean?

      Yes, that is indeed a pity.

      Human rights? But commenters here want to scrap ECHR and the United Nations!

      The rule of law? But they want to prevent judicial review, and to neuter the Supreme Court too!

      • Edward2
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        Ridiculous
        We had a the biggest voter turn out in the history of the UK

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

          No, percentage turnouts were higher in post WWII General Elections.

          You know, voters-per-million, the figures that matter?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

            As usual switching back and forth on statistics when it suits your argument.
            You still cannot accept the result of the 2016 referendum.
            Calling it an “extreme minority”.

            But please keep at it Martin because every abusive comment towards those who voted to leave the EU, helps keep the Conservatives in power.

      • Adrian Ambroz
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        Cherry Picking as usual

      • DavidJ
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

        You may want to be ruled by unelected entitles but many of us do not; others are blind to the undemocratic nature of such entities. I cannot imagine why anyone would want to be subject to such rule if they understood the true nature and ultimate aim of those entities.

  3. Mark B
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The Chinese government signed a legally binding treaty with the UK. If it cannot be trusted to keep its word on this, then it cannot be trusted on anything.

    • Andy
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      Why would the Chinese care? The UK is small and irrelevant – China will do what it likes.

      And it is ironic that Brexiteers are demanding that China honour an international treaty when you are all already trying to weasel out of the commitments you made in the Withdrawal Agreement – an international treaty.

      Reply It was a Political Agreement, not a Treaty. The EU are not negotiating in good faith though they promised.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply

        So it is alright to break faith with some promises we made but not others? Synonyms of ‘agreement’ include the words: Covenant, contract, pledge, bond etc etc

        Is that how we acquired the stigma of ‘Perfidious Albion’?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        I wonder upon what evidence John bases his claim for a lack of “good faith” on the part of the European Union’s negotiators?

        So far they have been crystal clear as to what the treaty obligations of the twenty-seven mean for them – and only a very strange kind of person would expect them to betray these – and have been as good as their word to the letter.

        Is there a parallel universe, in which there is some different European Union, and in which the Tories like John live?

        • Edward2
          Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

          The government got an 80 seat majority on the basis of a headline statement which promised let’s get Brexit done.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

            What on Earth has that got to do with John’s claim of bad faith?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

            Just exposing your extreme views as being very much in the minority.
            The EU thinks like you.
            It has never had any intention of negotiating a free trade deal with the UK.
            When it signed the Withdrawal Agreement it did so in bad faith.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

            Really?

            But I thought that “they need us more than we need them” according to the Leave campaigns.

            What ever happened to that?

          • bill brown
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

            you seem to be so well informed about the EU and their bad faith approach to the negotitions, taht you must really share your deep detailed knowledge with us about their negotiation strategy.
            I have never seen like you any contradiction between efficient local democracy at the local, regional and national level, being contradictory to being members of the EU.
            According to teh EIU some of the most democratic nations in the World like the Scandinavian nations Netherlands and Germany are also members of the EU.
            So, what are you barking on Constable? more non factual issues?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

            Martin
            I have always said the EU would never allow the UK to have a deal like anything they have already agreed with other nations right from just after the referendum.
            For the EU it has always been about discouraging other nations from wanting to leave.

            And nice to see bill (hans) brown back
            trolling again.
            When he has one of his pathetic sarcastic no fact attacks it just confirms to me that I am right.

        • margaret howard
          Posted June 5, 2020 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

          Martin

          “Is there a parallel universe…..in which the Tories like John live?”

          Cloud Cuckoo Land?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

            Must be where 80 seat majority election victories come from.
            Eh Margaret?

      • Glenn Vaughan
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        John you are wasting your energy addressing sensible remarks to Andy. You just as well address a chair -a wooden one of course.

      • Graham Wheatley
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        That was Theresanous May’s deal, not Boris’s or ours.

        If the €U can seize the opportunity of wiping the board clean of anything agreed in negotiations, and reset the clock each time a milestone like 29th March 2019, 31st Jan 2020 or 31st Dec 2020 is reached, then so can we.

        Barnier’s speech this afternoon has (I sincerely hope) guaranteed a no-deal exit.

        Rather than wait until December, let’s bring things forward and shorten the ‘transition’ end date to 21st October and raise a glass simultaneously to The Admiral and to finally being free of the €USSR.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

          +1 in spades! What’s wrong with 1st July?

          • DavidJ
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:04 am | Permalink

            Indeed.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        There’s Andy mourning the loss of the British Empire when UK was large and significant.

    • otto
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Mark B ‘The Chinese government signed a legally binding treaty with the UK’. Yes but as JR writes,

      ‘The famous clauses 18 and 19 which provide for Hong Kong judicial and law making independence do also contain a provision allowing the imposition of Chinese national laws when there is a break down in government in Hong Kong.’

      So they are abiding by the treaty if they do that.

      • Mark B
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:13 am | Permalink

        otto

        They are putting the cart before the horse. They are bringing in laws that will allow the Chinese government to extradite people from HK irrespective. The protests are against that and this has nothing to do with the breakdown of law and order and government.

  4. boffin
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Perhaps a ‘New Hong Kong’ might please all parties (with the possible exception of the CCP?) – i.e. a completely new British Sovereign Territory, to replace the former one.

    For instance, were no new land-based sites to be found, could not one such be established even within our own UK territorial waters, perhaps as a great new ‘Boris Island’ in one of our larger estuaries?

    It seems likely that huge private funding would be available for such a development, and that it might add, indirectly, a very worthwhile contribution to our now-ailing GDP.

    • Andy
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

      If you live in gloriously hot and sunny and successful Hong Kong – a cold, wet and failing fake island off the coasts of Kent and Essex – counties with a penchant for electing idiots as MPs – probably isn’t that appealing.

      • IanT
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

        Well Andy, I lived in HK for three and a half years – but strangely I was always happy to see the green and pleasant land that is the UK below me on my return flight.

        I loved HK – but the humidity could be really very unpleasant at times.

        But if you prefer to live under a communist regime – there are a few you could choose from – why not go and try one?

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        Try telling that to the illegals from France.

      • dixie
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        You have confirmed you have never left your mum’s cellar, you certainly haven’t spent time in HK to be so unaware of the rain and humidity.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        You haven’t been to Hong Kong have you. Little Englander to the core.

    • GilesB
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      It should be for the courts not the police or ‘officials’ to decide whether a law has been broken. Hong Kong courts can apply Chinese law. Only in cases where the law is unclear should there be any reason for a Hong Kong court to allow referral to a court , or legislative authority, in China.

      We should not be linking ‘human rights’ issues to trade and commercial issues. It merely underlines that our position on ‘human rights’ is weak and cannot be justified morally or logically.

      I very much doubt that ALL Hong Kong citizens would want to come.

      Anglesey is two thirds of the land area of Hong Kong. It currently has less than 70,000 inhabitants. Lots of room for a new city. There is already a deep water port with existing plans for significant expansion

      No

    • Jim Whitehead
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      And call it New England

    • DavidJ
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      That might have been good immediately after HK was given back to the Chinese. Islamic immigration could have been stopped to make room for them. Now it is too late.

  5. oldtimer
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    I am not familiar with the details of the treaty or what “breakdown in government” amounts to. My impression and understanding is that the HK government is effectively run by officials well-disposed to the mainland regime. It’s problems are street protests which has difficulty controlling. I am not sure that the UK has much leverage vs China in this situation that will cause a change of mind. The Chinese government is embarked on a long term plan to be become the dominant power in the world. It has already made significant headway through its industrialisation programme (as the dominant supplier of many products – some essential to well-being). It’s programmes to control critical resources and facilities is well advanced. Recently it has become much more openly aggressive in promoting those interests. The UK needs to be more alert to protecting its national interests and reducing its dependencies on China where it is effectively the monopoly supplier of critical products.

  6. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    China is a pariah state and should be treated as such. Trump as usual is ahead of the game much to the annoyance of the BBC.
    Letting China take control of large parts of our power network and commications is an act of unbridled stupidity.
    Get the country working again and stop these silly games.
    If you don’t get a handle on this cross channel ferry service you will lose all the so called red wall at the next election. Farage will se to that.

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      +1

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      You’re correct that no countries treat China as the pariah state it is

      The 3rd world still want their state investment funding

      The western world still want their cheap labour costs and goods

      And the regional countries are worried about their military

      I believe we’ll look the other way

      • Fred H
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        no countries treat China as the pariah state it is – – seduced by cheap goods, or the threat posed.

        The 3rd world still want their state investment funding – – often the power is with virtually dictators who fawn over the stripping of their natural resources, pain into Swiss accounts or offshore.

        The western world still want their cheap labour costs and goods – -historically yes, but people are waking up to often second rate goods, reliance on availability, spying and stolen international copyright.

        the regional countries are worried about their military – – and so they should. Nothing covert about the threats. Stolen technology copying, purchased and refit naval vessels, creation of ‘international waters islands’ establishing disputed bases …..

        You didn’t say the tens of thousands of students in Western universities learning about the more advanced technologies and the possibility to hack into systems.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

          I think that it’s rather hard for countries which fawn over Saudi Arabia – as do the US and the UK – to express any criticism at all of a great many countries around the world.

          Don’t you?

          Wouldn’t it make them moral sitting ducks?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

            Classic lefty whataboutery
            Hilarious

  7. BobDixon
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Invite every citizen of Hongkong to move to the U.K.What a boost the U.K. economy would receive if they replicated the intrastructure of Hongkong around The Isle of Wight and Southampton.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      Indeed but we need Hong Kong tax rates and lean government.

      Net Chargeable Income (in HKD currency slightly more than a £)
      0 – 50,000 HKD 2%
      50,001 – 100,000 HKD 6%
      100,001 – 150,000 HKD 10%
      150,001 – 200,000 HKD 14%
      Above 200,001 HKD 17%

      Sound better than 40% or 45% plus NI on top. No capital gains tax and hardly any IHT either unless you are very rich indeed and then only at 15% max.

      • agricola
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

        If your figures are correct it is exactly what we need post Brexit. Then watch the economy soar.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

          What, while most of the people with the spending power are simply staying home, to avoid catching or spreading covid19?

          How does that work?

      • Ed M
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        @Lifelogic,

        You talk a lot about electric cars (as far as I recall). Now I am really interested in them from an ECONOMIC POV.

        Apparently, the industry was worth $160 billion in 2019 and projected to be worth $800 billion by 2027. Was reading from Wall Street Journal that German Car Industry is greatly concerned by all this.

        I don’t know how accurate these stats are and how Covid will affect all this?

        Should our government be taking more of an interest in this (or not – certainly the German government are taking an interest in this)?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:15 am | Permalink

          My point on them really is that A. they do not save CO2 and certainly not to any significant degree and that with current technology. B. they are not suitable for many people especially people in cities as they often have no where to park and charge them. The one advantage they do have (other than tax payer funded bribes and tax breaks) is that they take some pollution out of the cities (and back to the power stations). They are certainly not zero emission. This can however be done with hybrids that can just do the city bit on a small say 20 mile only battery.

          They need to have better batteries (lighter, cheaper, more capacity and quicker charging) to make them far more practical for most customers.

          • Ed M
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

            @Lifelogic

            ‘they do not save CO2 and certainly not to any significant degree and that with current technology’

            – But I wasn’t asking about the environment but about the ECONOMY! According to the stats there is a huge amount of money to be made from electric cars.

            ‘They are not suitable for many people especially people in cities as they often have no where to park and charge them’

            – But the economic stats show there is a huge and growing market demand for these (Covid might upset things – but that’s a different matter – a blip). I don’t know where you’re getting your economic stats?!

            ‘The one advantage they do have (other than tax payer funded bribes and tax breaks) is that they take some pollution out of the cities (and back to the power stations)’ – again, I’m talking about money to be made from this NOT the environment!

            ‘They need to have better batteries (lighter, cheaper, more capacity and quicker charging) to make them far more practical for most customers’ – But the economic stats are that people are buying them and this will increase and people are making lots of money / and more in the future. We in the UK should be grasping this big economic opportunity – and government has an important role to play (look at German government assisting electric car industry in Germany).

          • Ed M
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

            @Lifelogic,

            I pretend to be no expert in this, but from the research I’ve done, it appears (leaving aside Covid) the electric car industry has interesting prospects ahead.

            Again, I am NOT talking about the environment or whether I would drive an electric car etc .. – I am talking about market demand. And our government needs to keep an eye on this, I think.

    • Oggy
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      I’m sure the residents of the Isle of Wight would be thrilled at such a prospect.

      • Bob
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        @Oggy

        “I’m sure the residents of the Isle of Wight would be thrilled”

        I would move there if it became HK2.

        • dixie
          Posted June 5, 2020 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

          Likewise

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 5, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          You appear to care little for local democracy.

          It makes your whingeing about the European Union’s limited centralisation appear to be rather ironic.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

            Do you prefer local democracy or do you prefer being ruled by the EU?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

            I welcome both for their proper purposes.

            They are not mutually exclusive.

            That is, efficient central democracy for uncontroversial matters such as H&S, product standards, working conditions and so on, and then local democracy for matters e.g. where there is a great body of historic common law, such as private property matters, and for other specifics.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

            Where does a sovereign national elected government stand in your two tier world?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

            Sovereignty, in a modern, interconnected world is not an absolute, like virginity, Ed.

            But you struggle with these concepts, don’t you?

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          Nightlife, food, Skyline – count me in

        • Edward2
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          No I dont struggle with the concept at all Martin.

          Deciding to have a mutually beneficial relationship with other nations voluntarily is one thing.
          Having our laws taxes and borders controlled by a supranational body is a very different thing.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 3:25 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            No, what you struggle with are even facts are introduced to you , you seem to no counter arguments or you get them wrong as Hefner and I have repeated to you a few times or more

          • Edward2
            Posted June 7, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

            I dont agree.
            Is that allowed or do we all have think like you bill?

            I have set out my reasons.
            You just reply with nothing of relevance.

          • bill brown
            Posted June 8, 2020 at 5:52 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            when you conclude on thin ice, most things presented to you you automatically define as not relevant, that is the core problem, Constabble

    • gregory martin
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Better that it be Deeside into Wrexham. But not under Welsh control, nor Liverpudlian.

  8. DOMINIC
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    The British political class need shed no tears for the imposition of brutal Marxist totalitarianism now being seen in HK. That process started in 1997 and we all knew back then that the direction of travel was away from partial democracy towards authoritarianism by a Marxist state that does not tolerate dissent, opposition or freedom of thought or speech. We could have offered visas to all HK citizens in 1997. We didn’t. Why?

    Fast forward to 2020 and what we see in the UK. The rise of Marxist ideology is now being openly practiced in the UK in the form of cultural Marxism in which the veneer of vacuous concepts like diversity and tolerance (lawfully imposed silence and self-censorship) are used to promote an authoritarian culture in which dissent is opposed by condemnation and character assassination (Toby Young, Scruton, Fox…the list is endless but those condemned to share the same identities)

    The direction of travel is also set in the UK. The end game won’t be pleasant but rest assured freedom of expression, freedom of thought and liberty are being extinguished right before our very eyes by both main parties as they pass laws to banish speech to protect their own political position

    I would like to see every HK citizen offered citizenship. These people BELIEVE in freedom and democracy. They will cherish such wonderful ideas unlike the rabble the authoritarian that has now infected our political class with their poison

    Social group based ideology is destroying this nation and its cherished freedoms of Thatcher’s promotion of the real, civil individual has been subsumed by a form of politics that plays academically defined groups of people off against each other using victim based politics.

    The BBC and the various departments of State now under the control of the progressive Marxists will push this politics as far as they humanly can.

    A new injection of HK freedom lovers that truly understand the poison of Marxism is badly needed. Most British people are beyond clueless as to the effects of the changes being imposed upon them.

    • Bob
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      If the Tories cared anything about liberty they would have granted the BNO passport holders UK citizenship rather than handing them over to to the CCP in 1997.

      They would also have spiked the Marxist’s guns domestically by abolishing the BBC Licence.

      It looks increasing the case that the Tory party like the BBC has been infiltrated by the left.

      Brexiteers should have seen this back in 2015 when they were bought off by Cameron’s disingenuous promise of a referendum which to his great surprise and disappointment won him an outright majority thereby denying him the coalition with Clegg which he had hoped for in order to given him the excuse to rat on his promise.

      A UKIP government would have repealed the European Communities Act directly upon taking office and saved us five wasted years of Tory Machiavellianism.

      • anon
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        Indeed BJ and HMG government needs to deliver a full WTO exit from the EU, asap.

        Every day until then is denial of democracy.
        British Democratic Votes matter.

        Its expensive as well as dangerous, in allowing totalitarian mindsets in the wider establishment, parties, politicians, civil servants, judges etc to manage democratic choice they dont like away.

        Once a sovereign UK again maybe our governments voice would carry a little more sincerity and truth with the people who hear it.

        Just leave. There is nothing , only problems caused by further useless and dangerous delay.

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      I believe you are talking about power in general and the tactics people use to stay in power . HK has achieved a higher degree of public control however

      a ‘Rose by any other name would be as sweet ‘ and ‘The lemon flower is pretty and the lemon flower is sweet but the fruit of the poor lemon is difficult to eat.’

      Democracy can hold knowledge and progress up significantly by the ignorance of the masses .

  9. Ian @Barkham
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    The UK Government keeps salami slicing the UK’s sovereignty away to the likes of China. Even more disturbing there is no equal reciprocal arrangements. China just gets to control the UK infrastructure via the back door making us beholden to them.

    Its no wonder that yesterday that Michael Clauss on saying the EU wants a trade agreement but the UK has to compromise – “You cannot have full sovereignty and at the same time full access to the internal market.” Does that mean that no independent country gets to trade with the EU unless the EU dictates how they run their own countries?

    The UK Government is there to keep us safe and secure. That means protect our wealth, health and security. If the UK voter has no direct say through the ballot box in how our ‘Laws’ and ‘Regulations’ are formed – the Government is in neglect of its duty.

    Being independent and sovereign by default means it is the people that choose how the laws are and regulations are framed within this country.

  10. Adam
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    If Chinese actions seek to exert control with thin-end-of-the-wedge techniques, they should be stopped at source. Essential Covid 19 measures provide added opportunities for such results, rapidly and with justifiable reasoning in support of such intent.

    Strong clauses with enforcement would prevent any such breach. President Trump’s instrument of trade penalties against Hong Kong might be effective, or could naively achieve the opposite effect. Treating trade with China & Hong Kong on the same terms is tantamount to supporting the same laws for both! China may want that.

    Supporting Hong Kong independence involves assisting Honk Kong to be free. Offering UK residence to Hong Kong citizens is a crass notion. Worse than adding to the already overpopulated restrictions of our country, many of the freedom-seeking population in Hong Kong would be reduced.
    This would contribute to softening resistance within HK by a higher proportion of the existing people comprising those who want to be taken over by China, or are too old, incapable, passively uninformed, or don’t even care about their own country’s future.

    The UK Govt needs an effective plan, with its dynamics focused on China’s key motivational pivots: not a half-baked recipe to merge the two entities with a common trade deal and decant the fleers here.

  11. Kevin
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John,
    Where could 3M HK citizens live in the UK? Could the country’s infrastructure handle such an influx?
    The idea has no merit.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      I have refrained from contributing to this blog for some time now as I find too many of the responses to be extreme and silly. However, let me make two points on Kevin’s response:

      I doubt very much that anything like three million HK Chinese would actually migrate here (many for the very reasons Andy gives in his last comment). Those that would are likely to be highly intelligent and wealthy experts in global finance and business generally. I’m old enough to remember the influx of Ugandan Asians when Idi Amin threw them out. They and their descendants have contributed hugely to the prosperity of this country. After all, it was they who made Uganda so prosperous before that ridiculous dictator grew jealous of their success.

      Secondly, to open our doors to these HK Chinese would right a sad wrong of the Thatcher Govt. at the time when our lease of Hong Kong expired.

    • David_Kent
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      There was no infrastructure in HK when it was started, it is unlikely all 3M would arrive at once. On arrival the initial project would be to build the infrastructure. I’m sure many Brits would love to invest their own money in HK2 to build that infrastructure with the tax rates topping out at 17% according to Lifelogic, no CGT and minimal IHT.

      • Mark B
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:19 am | Permalink

        The problem is, the current infrastructure, certainly in London, is at capacity. Now, if you can convince them all to live on a remote Scottish Island of the edge of the Atlantic and to stay there, you might have a point.

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      When sense returns to 95% of people after lockdown (…yes a vain hope I agree) then 50% of pubs will close permanently. An even higher percentage, depending on how long this insanity continues.

      Those sites will inevitably be given planning permission for change of use to residential housing. There will be crocodile tears from local authorities who will attempt to garner votes from the local electorate by opposing permission, because they KNOW that the developer will go to appeal and the Government Inspector will overturn those decisions. Ker-Ching!!!!! Minimum Band-A council tax for every unit built, in perpetuity. Local authorities are also going to be strapped for cash in the coming years and so that would be a win-win for them.

      That would be a start eh?

      It may well be that some Football Clubs and other organisation no longer exist AC (Anno-Covid) and so those stadia will also be up for grabs. I can already hear the developers rubbing their hands in gleeful anticipation…..

  12. Cheshire Girl
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    is it right to offer UK residence to Hogn Kong citizens?

    In my opinion, NO. It might have been different years ago, before we had mass immigration, and had some room to spare, but now we are a very crowded island, and have a shortage of houses for those already here. No matter how worthy, we cant take in the whole world.

    Sometimes, it seems that the majority of those who seem to think we can, are those in Westminster.

    • Peter
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      It’s as daft as Merkel’s invitation to migrants.

      I don’t think Merkel’s figure was as high as three million though.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        There was no invitation whatsoever from Mrs. Merkel for anyone to enter unlawfully into the European Union.

        However, she and the German people did extend exemplary solidarity to Italy and to Greece, to accept those who were overwhelming them.

        She merely described the extent to which Germany could cope.

        Her words were disgracefully twisted by the right-wing, cynical media in the UK and in the US, into precisely the advertisement, that you too construct, and it did worsen the problem however.

        Let’s also remember, that it was these two countries which caused the very problem which landed squarely in Europe’s lap.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          Yes there was an invitation.
          She gave speeches explaining her policy

    • percy openshaw
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Well said. The Spectator gets round this by lamely claiming that people said we were full up in 1984. Perhaps we were, by any civilised standard. And because people rolled over back then, The Spectator in common with all the establishment, alas, imagines we should roll over now. It is just not good enough. Housing shortage, land-banking, ethnic tensions flaring over events in America – and the “great and the good” propose yet another dose of mass migration. Until and unless those prior problems are solved, they have no right to propose such a measure, far less to enact it.

      • Mark B
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:59 am | Permalink

        The term, ‘full up’ is a very bad one as it conjures up over crowding which is not entirely correct when talking about this issue. The correct way to look at this is in terms of the infrastructure and its ability to cope.

    • BJC
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Cheshire Girl: It’s a sad indictment of failed EU doctrine when we have to think twice before we open our country to genuinely repressed people, because it’s already full to breaking point with economic and illegal migrants.

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        I agree, and we were never asked if we wanted the current situation. We were merely told endlessly by various Politicians that it was ‘the right thing to do’.
        Several hundred people have arrived on the coast of the UK over the last few weeks, and nothing is being done about it. It is immigration by the back door!

      • Mark B
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:00 am | Permalink

        This is why I am so angry at people who support MASS uncontrolled and illegal immigration. The really deserving lose out !

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        Immigration is an entirely sovereign matter and always has been.

        What has that to do with the European Union?

        Movement of Europeans around their European home is not called “immigration” anywhere else but here, on the other hand.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

          Open borders for anyone in the EU is one of the 4 pillars required by the treaties of the EU.
          The UK cannot stop EU citizens coming in.

        • Fred H
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          Are you still welcome in the hillsides of Patagonia?

  13. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Hong Kong is but one example where authorities are overstepping the mark.
    I have now lost faith in this government’s ability to be logical as far as this virus is concerned.

    There is no complete scientific study that shows wearing masks will do anything but extend the length of time that it will take for the virus to become ineffective.

    We will not be free of this virus until it has touched every one of us – THAT is pure logic.

    Wearing masks for any length of time restricts the flow of oxygen to the lungs – Now THAT has been scientifically shown, and is dangerous.

    Please don’t tell me about the scientific consensus – There isn’t one.

    With this approach to masks, the government has shown that it is floundering and scared by it’s own reports.

    By all means allow people who have been equally scared by the constant brainwashing from the media on this subject to wear masks, but to impose them is not only a disturbing move, it demonstrates how easily this government becomes dictatorial, and that is most certainly undemocratic.

    Are we now going to see untested vaccinations and health passports imposed on us in this thoroughly tyrannical manner?

    I hope not, and I hope you can persuade the government to see sense and rescind this utterly bad regulation.

  14. BeebTax
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    We will be forgiven by our people for letting HK go, the average person does not care. It’s a long way away, something vaguely connected with our imperial past. Governors with Ostrich-feather hats, that sort of thing. People would be more far more disturbed if we let the Spanish take over Gibraltar.

    However, the average low income or recently unemployed voter would be furious if we opened the door to up to 3m HK citizens. So much for the Tories’ much-touted Australian-style immigration system…so much for saying you’ll stop a few thousand illegals coming across the Channel yet you then invite in millions by aeroplane. Sounds like Blair’s immigration policy to me.

    It will be back to Nigel, for a lot of us.

  15. Nigl
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Trump is seeking re-election and in a real mess re Black Lives and Covid so a bit of distracting jingoism will never go amiss.

    If ‘you’ had any moral backbone you wouldn’t have stayed silent on their destruction of Tibet and subjugation of other internal minorities. Stay silent on the exclusion of Taiwan from world agencies at their insistence.

    Taken their money to fund universities, power generation, in fact Cameron et al went full begging bowl to them.

    There are of course countries in the Middle East that ‘you’ stay disgracefully silent about, doing very nasty things, probably worse than this law in Hong Kong .

    This is virtue signalling political rubbish that will achieve little, cost us a lot. Vodafone, Standard Chartered, HSBC, BT, Etc major elements of our pension funds or individual income streams through their dividends, yes let’s dump more cost on them.

    Oh and finally when you exhibit such faux outrage about a few dinghies from France and allegedly make vast efforts to deter them (albeit effectively shown to be one vast deception in a post yesterday) it is oK to offer 3 million people citizenship which I presume means (eventually?) the right to come here.

    Just as an aside I see the police have written off over 2 million crimes, clear up rate 10%. Your justice system in chaos as is HS2. Your PHE and the response to Covid-19 in terms of joined up thinking, risible and finally off the cuff Boris says 3 million should come here.

    This when we know our island is too full, our services can not cope currently nor can you provide sufficient decent housing.

    You have no vision and no strategy and certainly no planning and I think a paucity of talent in your government. Everything is off the cuff and it shows.

    3 million. No thank you.

  16. Andy
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    The rest of the world doesn’t care what Donald Trump does or says. They see him for what he is – a raging fool. Hopefully his failed presidency ends in 6 months but even if it doesn’t it his international relevance is already over. When he is gone America can start returning to the tolerant, decent country it always was.

    As for China, it can and will do what it likes. China is significantly bigger than us – it really does not care what the UK thinks or says. In the same way that Westminster does not worry if Lincolnshire gets bolshy about something. In global affairs might is right – and with America led by an actual basket case there is nobody to militarily check China’s
    power.

    Of course economics is a different question and the power exists to cause China significant economic harm. But the UK doesn’t have this power. We’re too small. The EU does though – as it provided a more than adequate economic counterweight to both China and the US.

    But you left so literally nobody cares what the UK does or says anymore. According to the IMF we are now just the 9th biggest economy and we will be out of the top ten before long. You can tell your friends about this irrelevance the next time you go out for dinner with them
    – and share a yummy plate of chlorinated chicken and hormone injected beef. YUM.

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      how about a healthy supply of vegetables and second class protein without the killing of animals and birds.?

  17. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Giving right of residence to Hong Kong refugees is fine (they already own a lot of flats where I live in London) maybe in partnership with Australia/Canada/New Zealand if they want. It seems we are already reviving relationships with our traditional foreign policy partners – what has the EU said and done on Hong Kong ? Not much, they prefer to appease China, our interests are not aligned. A refusal to stand up to China now will eventually lead to them taking back Taiwan.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Roy Grainger

      “what has the EU said and done on Hong Kong ? Not much, they prefer to appease China, our interests are not aligned”

      Why should they? It’s our mess – a hangover from empire days when we treated China abominably.

      Chickens coming home to roost?

  18. John E
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    We need to attend to our own situation.

    Get a grip. Sack Cummings. Restore democracy.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Sack Boris! Cummings and Frost both outstanding.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Yes Lynn, sack “Wir schaffen das” Boris and install John Redwood!

    • beresford
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Yes. Get a grip. Cut ties with the EU. Restore democracy.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        Cut ties with the EU – oh yes!

        Restore democracy – well that is becoming mission impossible in the UK.

    • Graham Wheatley
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      John E.
      Really?
      After what’s happened with the attempts by the overwhelming number of MPs and Peers (aided and abetted by some members of the Judiciary) to subvert Brexit, you really think we still live in a functioning democracy?

      The only reason they want rid of DC is because he was one of the principal architects of the means by which we have left the EU. They have to try to get rid of him (and hence his advice) before these June talks come to an end, in an effort to extend the transition period.

      I have to say that I admired DC’s reserve and fortitude at his press briefing. Any quiver in his voice was probably borne of his frustration at not being able to tell the press pack (and 75 MPs) to go forth and multiply. I wouldn’t have been so restrained and would likely have used several strong expletives after only the 2nd question was (very antagonistically) asked.

      His detractors are probably more annoyed with themselves at their self-realisation that DC HAD acted within the guidelines (….a clue in the first half of that word…) and they could have done similar, but sheepishly obeyed the diktats verbatim, without stopping to think and question a) the logic behind them or indeed b) whether exemptions might apply to them.

      Stick with it Dom. See this out but don’t be so reserved if there is a next time you have to ‘apologise’ to the trolls.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Sack Cummings. What for ? Because he might have committed a minor breach of lockdown according to the police ? A fine of £60 is the normal punishment, not losing your job. What sort of an authoritarian regime do you want in power ?

  19. ed2
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    The Chinese regime is on borrowed time, the only reason they escaped revolution was due to the dramatic improvement of living standards, now they are afraid they are getting more authoritarian and dystopian than ever.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:01 am | Permalink

      True !

      They have to keep the music (economy) playing. When it stops, then everything changes.

  20. ed2
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    The regime will fall within 5-8 years
    same as everywhere currently turning dystopian.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Wait while I stop laughing. Three million? Where are they all going to live and will our infrastructure cope? Short answer – no.

      • ed2
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        Where are they all going to live

        >
        Chipping Norton?

  21. ferdinand
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    It all depends on whether you think Communism is self defeating, as do I. Many years may pass before the Chinese reach the state of miserableness as did the USSR, but in this nuclear World belligerent action is unlikely to succeed.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      China is not ‘communist’ that’s was just a crock sold to the population when it was in vogue, and not understood, in the 40’s and 50’s.

      China is a totalitarian economic system with a central bureaucracy; an economy engineered to profit the elite of the bureaucracy. It has been successful in the last 40 years by emulating capitalism, achieving legitimacy by improving the living standards of its population. That trick is slowly failing. the CCP will never give up power until it is forced.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      I do not think you are right. Ibn Khaldun, the great 14th century thinker, put out the theory that when leadership grows senile, it will be replaced by have-nots. The have-nots come in and take over as barbarians. (1949 in China: we were the senile ones). Slowly they become civilized and great. (Now). Then, very slowly, over the generations, they decay too until a new group of have-nots takes over.
      It is a continuous process over time. Ibn Khaldun admits the time varies, but he sort of suggests five generations of hereditary ruler.

      • Mark B
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:03 am | Permalink

        +1

        The Roman Empire is, I think, a classic example.

    • percy openshaw
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Communism is indeed self-defeating but the Chinese Communist Party is too canny to impose it now. What we have is an authoritarian state intervening in a protected market and advancing its interests through industrial and other forms of espionage. In short, it is playing the Great Game – an approach we should have salvaged from the wreck of our own imperial interests. Therefore, China is not likely to implode at any time convenient to ourselves; nor is the prestige of western democracy what it was in 89. Then we were prosperous, confident and free; now – thanks to the “liberal” elite – we are indebted, demoralised and controlled. The public of China will know this perfectly well. Then you underestimate the call of nationalism, which again the cannier sort of Communist exploits. Many influential figures from the banking, industrial and academic worlds in modern China are not – as you might expect – following the “bourgeois equals Liberal” formula. Instead, they have returned to a belief in the Middle Kingdom, eternal, powerful and dominant, which is understandable – given the terrible history of their 19th and 20th centuries. I share you theoretical view, but alas our hopes may well founder on current geopolitical realities.

    • Will in Hampshire
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Well, although he didn’t change the name of the party, I think it’s pretty clear that Deng Xioping abandoned communism in the 1970s. China today is some flavour of capitalist, either state-sponsored or autocratic depending upon your preference.

      Personally I don’t think 3 million Hong Kong passport holders would all come to the UK even if they were made the most attractive of offers. Subtract those who are patriotic about China and those who are indifferent and comfortable and the potential number of migrants to the UK probably falls to less than 500,000. Still a lot though, but likely manageable.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      China has not made the mistake of the USSR and has allowed its middle classes to prosper under communism.

      Talking to students and traders in China they have Yen in their eyes in a way that the USSR never allowed. Chinese form of communism will not fall while is population gets richer

  22. BOF
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Our Government should match the duties on Chinese made goods that have been imposed by the US.

  23. agricola
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    In my humble opinion Donald Trump is absolutely correct in his reaction to the Chinese governments intent to cancel the dual legal system under which Hongkong operates. China is flexing it’s power at the moment and needs to realise their are costs to every aggressive move it makes. Just remember the consequences of ignoring Hitler and his Nazis.

    HSBC is incorporated in London but is a major player in Hongkong along with Standard Chartered Bank. Both have apparently come out in favour of the move by the Chinese government, because they think it offers them the stability they prefer. Self interest without a doubt. It will be interesting to see their reaction when the trade they finance begins to dry up. They are no doubt part of the globalisation game and less concerned with the citizens of Hongkong.

    Both Donald and Boris have ,I believe , offered sanctuary to citizens of Hongkong should things turn sour. No doubt some would wish to depart for Singapore and Australia as well. Do not get over excited about the 3 million figure that has been bandied about. For the UK it will be much less but no doubt significant. Just the sort of talented entrepreneurial people we need, a repetition of the Ugandan Asian influx which was very good for the UK.

    As to your last paragraph, lawyers always give themselves an ambivalence, it is what they thrive on.

  24. formula57
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Hong Kong is a Chinese city within China, as confirmed by the “one country, two systems” notion. Did anyone suppose that arrangement did not mean eventually there would be “one country, one system”?

    We are reminded from time to time (by foreigners, no-one British seems to require it) that the British Empire is past. We are not Hong Kong’s keeper. Accordingly, let us apply the Treaty sanctions if we wish (determined by our own interests please) but let us not offer residence in our over-crowded island to c. 3 million people: a few hundred political activists if they face reprisals by the government of China perhaps.

    Alternatively, shall we offer citizenship and residence to those in another former colony where they do not get equal treatment before the law owing to racism? Only c.41 million Black Americans to accommodate then. Why stop there? Only c. 7 billion more on the planet: we could become “standing room only”.

    • formula57
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Correction: when I say no-one British seems to require a reminder that the British Empire is past, I should of course have excluded some government ministers and other parliamentarians of a soft and fanciful disposition.

  25. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    The first step would surely be to drop the Chinese involvement from any part of our proposed 5G network, even if it puts us back a year.

    Those residents with Full British Passports have every right to come here, because we gave them that right when they qualified for a UK passport, after all they are more qualified than those who simply pay to get in a rubber dinghy in France to cross the channel with our help.

    Economic sanctions are eventually the way to go, but afraid it may hurt us before it hurts them, as our Companies which trade with them would need to find alternative suppliers.

  26. Richard1
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Yes we should honour residency for hing Kong citizens. Hopefully they would import their low tax, light regulation, high prosperity model also.

    The humbug of the left is excellently described by Douglas Murray in the telegraph today – rioting and attacking police in the U.K. due to the actions of one US policeman (now in custody awaiting trial), whilst completely silent on the oppression of the Chinese communist party. Totally silent for example on the disgraceful and craven behaviour eg of a certain major bank in actually supporting the new oppressive laws.

  27. LondonBob
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    It really doesn’t concern me, after the riots last year they were always going to look to speed up the introduction of law 23. It isn’t actually clear at all this is a breach or that it will have much impact, except on certain troublemakers and their sponsors.

    Raba’s suggestion we retaliate by inflicting three million plus Chinese immigrants being given the right to settle here on our own people is so bizarre, malignant and stupid that I shan’t address it.

    Like me John has an investment and economics background, we all know we are in the Chinese and Asian century, picking a fight with China is also beyond daft.

  28. Iain Gill
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Our political class is far too ready to offer ever changing reasons for more immigration.

    I sympathize with the people of Hong Kong.

    But we need to stop the lazy assumption of our own political class that more immigration is tolerable for any reason, that is certainly not what the majority of decent voters think.

    Where will we build the housing, schools, hospitals etc for more immigration?

    As ever our political and journalist bubble completely fail to make the case felt by the vast majority.

  29. Richard416
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I wonder if the Chinese would be amenable to selling Hong Kong. Either to the USA or an international consortium that would guarantee its independence.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      No. We had a lease, when that expired they demanded Hong Kong back.

      • Bob
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        It’s a little more complicated than that, Hong Kong Island and Kowloon were ceded in perpetuity.

  30. Chris Dark
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Three million can come here as long as we deport three million undesirables. What on earth does government think we are, a huge land-mass? It’s bad enough with Boris offering amnesties to illegals, now we’re to offer shelter for Hong Kong. Where does it end for our small overcrowded nine hundred-mile long island? We’re sick of this posturing and posing, trying to look good on the world stage. Britain is not a charity for helping the world. We do little enough as it is for our own people, preferring to assist with foreigners’ well-being over our own.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely correct. Watering down native British voting power. Criminal really. Immigrants should not get the vote for 6 generations.

      • bill brown
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        Lynn atkinson

        6 generations, if it was not because I know you usually write outragous statements I might even take this sort of nonsense statement seriously

    • Mark B
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:07 am | Permalink

      Johnson studied classics, not geography. In that there is a clue 😉

    • BeebTax
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:22 am | Permalink

      Well said.

  31. Nivek (aka Kevin)
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    “The Chinese authorities attempted to…put HK law more firmly under China’s control…. Is it right to offer UK residence to Hong Kong citizens?” (emphases here and below added).

    How is UK law preferable to HK law in this regard?

    Under the Conservative Party’s Withdrawal Agreement, ratified three and a half years after a democratic vote to Leave the European Union, the EU has been given legislative power over the UK (Art. 127), and the ECJ has been given judicial authority over the UK (Art. 174).

    Why would a citizen of Hong Kong want to move to a country governed by a party that does this to its own people?

  32. bill brown
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Sir JR
    Yes it is right to offer HK citizens permanent residence in the UK

  33. Everhopeful
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    An idea that was floated….I think from on high. (Kind of dovetails into previous suggestions re building Free Ports).

    Give HKers 6 sq miles of UK coast land to build ( or no doubt we would build/finance) a new HK! So we could benefit from their innate entrepreneurialism.

    You know…good old us …who are taxed and regulated into little heaps of wet toilet paper.
    Strangled with red tape and the EU regs so eagerly embraced by those who indulge in this sort of racial stereotyping.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Mind you…just thought.
      A new “Hong Kong“ just across the Channel wouldn’t half put the wind up the EU!

  34. Everhopeful
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile revolution runs riot and the Cenotaph is violated.
    And we, the law abiding are to be frogmarched into oxygen-depriving masks.
    As we board the trains and buses that take us to earn the taxes to pay for the revolution.
    For God’s sake “government” …get a grip!

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      It does feel as though we have lost our rudder

    • Mark B
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:10 am | Permalink

      The day they decreed that the law abiding be locked into there homes and allowed the some criminals to be set free to roam was the day this government no longer deserved the right to govern. But I do not believe in defacing monuments to the fallen. Maybe that is where I am going wrong.

  35. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    If you stand up to a bully then usually the bully respects you enough to withdraw. If you seem weak, that is seen as an invitation for more punishment.
    So, yes, let these people in – they are just what we need. Think Ugandan Asians.
    Yes, get ready to slap a few tariffs on Chinese goods and to protect our inventive genius from copy.
    Yes, abandon Huawei completely and soon.
    The Chinese have come very badly out of the Covid business. Before it they were seen as a developing country” now they have revealed their true colours.

  36. Kenneth
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    In my opinion we should not get involved in the affairs of other countries unless there is any threat to us so I suggest that we leave alone.

    • bill brown
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 2:23 am | Permalink

      Kenneth
      this in an international treaty signed by the UK being violated this is not just an internal Chinese matter

      • Kenneth
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:10 am | Permalink

        I am no expert but it could be argued that the treaty has been upheld by China by virtue of clauses 18 and 19.

        I was never keen on Chris Patten’s/John Major’s approach on this which appeared to be patronising at the time.

        I’m no fan of China but I think we should concentrate on our own affairs.

  37. Caterpillar
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Certainly those born before the 97 handover should be offered a route to residence. This may be insufficient as some of the young that protest may not have rights to the B.N.O route. Since, what appears to have been a race based decision by Thatcher, many of those deserted by the UK have died. Whilst Patel (why is she still in the job) should vastly increase the income threshold for general immigration there is a moral duty for U.K. to behave with integrity towards H.K, on which U.K. pushed for early negotiations on New Territories lease and seemingly ignore the in perpetuity status of HK island and Kowloon. China is now much, much stronger than in the 1990s ( and certainly much stronger than it was in 1984). The U.K. is obviously too weak to stand up to China, but that does not mean U.K. should not get back some integrity, U.K’s wrong cannot be corrected but the sooner ‘we’ show some decency the better.

  38. John S
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    China should be treated as an international pariah. Firms should disengage from this country, encouraged by very high tariffs. 5G must be cancelled. Only concerted action by the international community will make this regime behave in a civilised manner. If they think they can get away with it they will.

    • Nigl
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      No it won’t. It will mean they have won the economic war, they don’t care about their citizens quality of life, strewth have you really thought through what your policy would mean?

  39. Anthony
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    We should absolutely not be allowing 3m Hong Kongers to gain citizenship here. Contrary to some opinion, I don’t see that we owe citizens of our former empire the right to live here. The empire is gone and good riddance.

    A Tory government that allowed immigration of 3m people would lose my trust and millions like me who do not see the economic value of immigration but do see the damage To our national identity of 60 years of immigration and denigration by the woke and their intellectual antecedents.

    By all means pressure the Chinese by diplomatic means. Offer places to a few tens of thousands by lottery or similar but it is not our role to go fixing the world’s problems by inviting the world to live here every time something bad happens.

    • BeebTax
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:29 am | Permalink

      Absolutely right. Our empire disappeared decades ago and we don’t owe half the world a place in this country. People here would be flabbergasted if this influx were allowed to happen,.

  40. Christine
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    This shows how dangerous it is to become dependent on a communist dictatorship. We must wean ourselves off cheap labour by bringing our strategic manufacturing home and purging any Chinese investment from our infrastructure. Where is the UN in all this? Where is the condemnation and sanctions that they impose on other countries that break treaty law and human rights? Trump seems to stand alone in his fight against the CCP. Unfortunately, communists have infiltrated the left of politics in many countries and it has become a huge danger by trying to erode our free speech. On whether the people from Hong Kong should move to the UK, this is a difficult question. We are a very overcrowded island but I thought the decision had already been taken to offer them a home here. We don’t offer sanctuary to the persecuted white population of South Africa but then white people never qualify for protection as only racism is carried out against black people. People from Hong Kong seem to prefer moving to Vancouver in Canada than coming to the UK. Should they stand and fight or flee? I don’t know but if they choose to fight we must give them as much help as possible. The best way to overthrow a dictatorship is from within.

    • IanT
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      If you visit Vancouver you will certainly find a great deal of HK money already there – particularly on the North Shore. It started moving many years ago when the writing was already on the wall. The people of HK have always known what awaits them from the other side of the border.

      As someone who was frequently abused as being a “Running Dog of the US Inperialists” by loudspeaker – whenever I walked past a Chinese Government store in HK – I never doubted this would end badly given the very nature of the CCP.

      We need (our Leadership) to think longer much term and start immediately and urgently disengaging us from any deep dependencies on China. We are addicted to cheap overseas labour of course, it has helped keep inflation down and given us an illusion of prosperity. But there are other global sources of cheap labour that are not governed by such a nasty regime as the CCP. They’ve invaded Tibet, killed thousands of their own citizens, currently have a huge ethnic minority imprisoned in concentration camps to be ‘re-educated’ and are building military bases in the South China sea threatening sea routes and a number of peaceful neighbours.

      What more evidence does anyone require that China is a real threat to our national security and someone should be treated accordingly. How any Western politician can doubt this fact that I’ve no idea. But we keep on pampering to them.

      Why does anyone believe they can be trusted in any way – and why we aren’t frantically working to minimise any strategic commercial and technical connections with them?

  41. glen cullen
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Under the veneer China is the same old communist totalitarian state that it’s been since post WW2

    We should be honest with ourselves; there isn’t a thing we can do

    Anybody with eyes open in 1997 knows this to be true….there is absolutely nothing we can do

  42. Fred H
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    OFF TOPIC – – because it never goes away.
    Buffalo.
    Another video of a 75 year old white man wanting to talk to baton-wielding Police walking a curfew, a third approaches and shoves him backwards. He is old and unstable, staggers backward and cracks his head on the paving. immediately his head starts to bleed and he is motionless. Some just walk on, others look to be concerned.
    He was taken to hospital – serious head injury.
    An initial statement from Buffalo Police Department said the man “tripped and fell” during a “skirmish involving protesters”, after the video was released 2 officers suspended unpaid.
    Police Dept lies!

    • Fred H
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      available on the BBC – –

    • Fred H
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

      update……
      from BBC website.
      An entire tactical unit of a US police department has quit after two officers accused of brutality were sent on unpaid leave, reports local media.
      In a video that went viral on Thursday, officers in the city of Buffalo, New York, were seen shoving an elderly man to the ground. The 75-year-old was seriously injured, and taken to hospital.
      All 57 officers in the riot squad have now reportedly quit in protest at their two colleagues’ suspension. According to the Buffalo News, the members have quit the Emergency Response Team, but not the police department.

  43. William Long
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I think you would have to stretch things a bit to say that Government in Hong Kong has broken down, but I have very grave doubts about the common sense of extending a right of abode in this country to all Hong Kong subjects. Think of the uproar there would be if a substantial number of them came.
    Another thing one has to remember is that the lease under which we held Hong Kong gave us virtually no rights at all after its expiry, and what we were in the event able to obtain was largely the product of the wish by the Chinese to appear part of the modern world.
    I do not think we should be entirely surprised that the Chinese now wish to amend things slightly in their favour. They after all are the sovereign power. In reality the sanctions we can impose against their action are miniscule, particularly when it has been made clear that we would like them as a major trading partner.
    I actually do not think we owe the Hong Kong people much: they prospered hugely under our mantle and with a bit of tact could continue to do so.

  44. ukretired123
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Both Taiwan and Hong Kong are 2 jewels that China would love to force into their control as they stand like David vs Goliath punch well above their weight and are relatively underestimated by many abroad just how critical they are to the west.

    Taiwan has been a technology power house whilst HK an important financial and trade hub. Both are very western and advanced societies compared to China and show the latter up in so many ways. Small is beautiful, big is not in this case.

    They should be protected having been loyal servants to our western interests. If they fall we will regret not doing all we can to help them in this difficult situation. Singapore and the Philippines will then follow which is why Australia has been so vocal justifiably too!

    The Pacific rim countries are all in China’s sights as well as Africa and the Silk Road to Europe. We owe it to HK whether folks agree or not but we should never abandon them as they are the key pawns in the China/ Russia game of hidden chess for all our futures. CV19 is just a sideshow by comparison.

  45. DOMINIC
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Your government has a divine and moral duty to expose the incitement now being exercised by Labour, the BBC and every other UK taxpayer financed lefty organisation intent on stonking racial tensions.

    And the actions of the police this week. Well, hope is lost if the British police now act politically rather than according to the fundamental principle of policing, the maintenance of law and order from barbarian thugs

    This is not about human beings, this is about politics, power to silence, Trump and a hatred of the UK’s indigenous population. We are literally being demonised before our very eyes and being forced to pay for it through the BBC licence fee

    Stop pandering to the progressives. You are mortally damaging this once proud nation

    Now I know how those poor people in Hong Kong feel.

  46. Ian @Barkham
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    The citizens of Hong Kong have an infinitely more legitimate right to be offered and welcomed in to the UK than those illegal queue jumpers that force their way in nearly every day.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:18 am | Permalink

      They don’t force their way. They are ferried in !

  47. rose
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Why is the chairmanship of the OBR going to someone from the Resolution Foundation? Every single Conservative appointment seems to be of someone from the Left. I hope I have missed something.

  48. Bob
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    The Portuguese govt granted EU passports to the citizens of Macau and the the British govt betrayed the citizens of Hong Kong – it’s now time to put that right.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Portugal was able to offer them access to twenty-eight countries, over a vast area.

      The UK can only offer them the UK now.

      Think about that.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        They could claim asylum in any country.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

          Ed, dear boy, if they have passports for a European Union country, then they do not need to claim anything whatsoever anywhere in it, do they?

          They have a right to be wherever they choose.

          That’s worth rather more than any “claim”.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

            Martin dear boy, you miss the point as usual.
            They will be welcomed as valued newcomers by many nations worldwide including the UK.
            Canada, Australia, Singapore have already shown a welcome to those wanting to leave Hong Kong to escape the growing malign communism control of China.
            European nations can also offer them a welcome if they wish.
            Merkel did so for a million people from Middle Eastern countries recently.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        We don’t have to offer anything – but we could not keep the Macau immigrants out of the U.K. think about that!

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 6, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

          We’re stuck with seventeen million – for the most part utter wastes of space IMO – so the people of Macau would only have diluted their negative effects – if they were crazy enough to come here that is.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

            Your continued abuse of all those that voted to leave is great as it keeps Labour out of power.

          • Fred H
            Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

            I’m not allowed to write what I think of you…..

  49. BJC
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    The behaviour of China shows that despite contracts or treaties, fundamentally, they will never change. Will Parliament now take off its blinkers and end China’s involvement in our tech and infrastructure projects?

    Meanwhile, the EU’s equally authoritarian governance ensures it also fails to make fundamental changes and we now know the negotiations have ground to a halt. Quelle surprise! The reality is the EU have never compromised on anything, so IF there’s a compromise to be made it will be Mr Johnson’s and the EU’s “compromise” will be to accept it.

  50. forthurst
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    It’s time for the West to stop engaging in gesture politics and encouraging discord in Hong Kong as means of bating the Chinese dragon. That is not good for the people who live in Hong Kong whose GDP per capita is far higher than ours.

    In twenty years time, China will be Chinese; will Britain be recognisable? Democracy is a disease which is making the West ungovernable as its ‘democratic’ governments replace their indigenous populations with unassimilable aliens whose aspirations are contrary to those of the remainder.

    In democratic Britain, the PM suggests that the solution to the crisis in Hong Kong is to invite the people of Hong Kong to live in England. As China has a population of 1.3 billion, the impact would be felt rather more by us than by China. I expect the Chinese have a file on Boris Johnson: I wonder what word is used to summarise his personality.

    • BeebTax
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:32 am | Permalink

      Yes, we (the EU in particular) encouraged discord in the Ukraine, too, it it hasn’t done them a lot of good, either.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:41 am | Permalink

      Sucker?

  51. M Hopkins
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday we sunk to a new low. The Prime Minister has imposed the mandatory wearing of face masks.

    “Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development produced by the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2012, the pandemic that the world had been anticipating for years finally hit. Scenario Narratives. Lock Step. During the pandemic, national leaders around the world flexed their authority and imposed airtight rules and restrictions, from the mandatory wearing of face masks to body temperature checks at the entries to communal spaces like train stations and supermarkets. Even after the pandemic faded, this more authoritarian control and oversight of citizens and their activities stuck and even intensified.”

    The pandemic didn’t hit in 2012 but on 18.10.19 a global pandemic exercise called Event 201 was held in New York. Shortly afterwards the pandemic hit and the scenarios are now being played out.

    If there hasn’t been a coup then why are we following ‘lock step’ to the letter?

  52. Stan
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    What’s this? China ‘backtracking’ on an agreement already made- how awful!

  53. Graham Wheatley
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    The Chinese have their eyes on domination of world markets and overseas national economies. They really don’t give a stuff about trashing HK’s economy and losing revenue therefrom.

    All they want is total control of the land it sits on. The sooner we all realise that, the better.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:20 am | Permalink

      Exactly.

      They kept HK going so long as it fulfilled their needs. Now it is less important it can do what it wants.

  54. davies
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    The CCP have scrapped on a Treaty lodged with the UN so as far as I can see the UK Govt is right to be offering people from HK a way out.

    They also need to double down on cutting off Huawee and anything else deemed critical to the UK.

  55. Graham Wheatley
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Some might say that CV19 was the planned diversion of attention from their land-grab?
    One also wonders whether CV20 is already waiting in the Wuhan Lab?

  56. K Jig
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Can I please dispel the idea that by bringing the 3 million Hong Kong people here, we would then recreate the success of Hong Kong, perhaps on some island here in UK waters.

    The reasons for the success of Hong Kong, were the British banks that established there and along with Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley sending their leading professionals, as well as establishing all the other professional firms to provide support for the banks and financial firms. They sent some of their best people to Hong Kong.

    Time Steiner, the boss of Ocado, worked in Hong Kong for Goldman Sachs.
    “In 1992, Steiner joined Goldman Sachs as a bond trader. He worked for them for eight years in London, New York and Hong Kong”.

    Another reason for the success was the advantage provided by different time zones.

    Midnight in The City of London and 8 pm on Wall Street, is 8 am in Hong Kong, so while Western finance houses were sleeping, Hong Kong was working and it created practically 24-hour trading and deal making.

    Plonk the Hong Kong people down in the UK, without those leading professionals that established the businesses in Hong Kong and without the benefits of the time zone, I am sure they will be ultimately hard working, but we won’t be recreating a powerhouse!

    The Conservatives have a duty to the low income people of this country, who have been totally let down by politicians of all colours, Boris promised “Levelling Up”.

    Bringing in 3 million people, will make housing already in short supply even more unavailable, then the pressure on jobs, schools, education and social cohesion.

    It is time to remember Noblesse oblige, before we have a real revolution on our hands.

  57. Julian
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I would agree with offering Hong Kong citizens UK passports if they want one – only thousands would do it as it means uprooting themselves from home. The UK was in control of Hong Kong for 156 years so we have an obligation.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:21 am | Permalink

      Only those with very little would do so and would in turn be a burden to us.

      • Julian
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        The Chinese residents in the UK are mainly people with ties to Hong Kong (apart from students). They are industrious and law abiding usually running businesses employing people and contributing to the economy of the UK.

    • steve
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Julian

      ” The UK was in control of Hong Kong for 156 years so we have an obligation”

      The obligation was to hand HK back at the end of the lease, which was done. Hence obligation fulfilled. We don’t owe HK anything.

  58. Sea Warrior
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    If there’s to be an influx of Hong Kongers then there needs to be a corresponding reduction in immigration from elsewhere. We are full!

  59. rose
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    It is at times like this that one feels ever more furious with the politicians and civil servants who opened our borders willy nilly. We should be able to take in genuine refugees for whom we have responsibility and with whom we have affinity, without feeling overwhelmed. The country is overfull and disunited, and the effects of that are all too evident in the spread of the Wuhan infection and our difficulty now in making arrangements for people to keep at a distance from each other. But we must make this offer, because there is nothing else we can do, words alone being powerless up against a ruthless tyranny.

  60. Jonathan Gibson
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    I think the UK could benefit enormously both culturally and economically from encouraging people from HK to settle here. However, we would have to go some way towards recreating the institutional and legal structures that prevail in HK in order to persuade them to re settle. Perhaps some form of low tax/enterprise zone within the UK? In addition, simply the threat of migration of human and financial capital from HK may be enough to help the ‘economics in command’ faction within for the CCP to come to it’s senses

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      You mean we want the capitalism we took to Hong Kong brought back to the U.K. because we have trashed it at home?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:13 am | Permalink

      Indeed a good enterprise zone would be the whole of the UK with tax rates similar to Hong Kong’s.

  61. mancunius
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Imagine if we here had a large and deeply-politicised conglomerate attempting to take over our country and make it subservient to its laws and practices. 😉
    At least Hong Kong doesn’t have the BBC acting as a fifth column.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 3:11 am | Permalink

      Plus the UK had all those people who voted for the Benn act (surely an act of blatant treachery against the UK). Some of whom were idiotically allowed back into the Conservative party and still even now remain as MPs.

  62. Jack
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Ever heard of the Opium Wars? when British business ie the Easat India Co Traders supported by the UK government and Royal Navy of the time sought to push thousands of tons PA of opium into various ports in China- in a two pronged attack 1/ to weaken the resolve of the native population and 2/ profit.. it was a time whenHong Kong was founded- well in case you havn’t heard?- but just so you know the Chinese havn’t forgotton.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:25 am | Permalink

      Have you heard of the Roman Empire when the native populations of various countries were enslaved. Yes, we too have not forgotten but, we can accept that was then and can move on.

      • hefner
        Posted June 7, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        There is a teeny-weeny difference in that Romans (from Rome or other parts of Italy) have stopped basking in the delights of the Roman Empire whereas there are still people, even here on this blog, who are still referring about ‘our Dominions’.

    • IanT
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      I’ve never really forgiven the Italians for their invasion of Britain Mark – which they did for purely selfish and Imperialistic reasons. However, they did leave us with a legacy of some very straight roads and a very long wall (to help keep the Wee Gnashers out!). Once they’d gone home though, we decided that narrow, twisty roads were much better and that we’d march on the left (just to be rebellious).

      In fairness, the Italians have recognised their historical guilt and invented left-hand drive Alfa Romeos to sell us in reparation. I guess our equivalent gesture for China is Burberry handbags.

  63. David Brown
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    In reality the British Gov cannot prevent the Chinese Gov from doing what it wants.
    As for allowing Hong Kong residents to come to Britain well not all will want to relocate.
    There could however be an opportunity to attract the most successful educated people from Hong Kong to Britain, they are not work shy and in my opinion quickly start to set up their own business with the skills and knowledge they have.
    So right now it may work out beneficial?.
    My conclusion is that its worth investigating exactly how many could/would relocate and what is their current economic and educational status?. (Or don’t look a gift horse in the mouth as the old saying goes).

    • steve
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      David Brown

      “In reality the British Gov cannot prevent the Chinese Gov from doing what it wants.”

      True, but we can boycott chinese made goods.

      “…quickly start to set up their own business with the skills and knowledge they have.”

      Like the skills to only accept cash in their takeaways and nail parlours so as to keep the tax man in ignorance.

    • BeebTax
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      I thought our forthcoming immigration policy was supposed to make it easy for the people we need to come here; this could be a test of how good it is at attracting those we need, and keeping out those we don’t need.

  64. Anonymous
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    I’d love to have 3m HK people come here but since we filled the country with mass immigration where can they go ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 4:45 am | Permalink

      I do not imagine that very many would come.

      UK taxation at up to 45% income, 20% vat, stamp duty at up to 15%, Inheritance tax at 40%, National insurance (both) at about 23%, CGT 28%, fuel duty, road tax, congestion taxes, landfil taxes, carbon taxes, expensive rigged energy market, endless red tape, restrictive planning, restrictive employment laws…….. and generally very poor public services indeed – despite all this taxation. Especially schools, most universities, the BBC and the NHS.

      Does not look particularly attractive to someone used almost non of the above taxes and a 17% top rate of income tax. HK also has no capital gains tax, no withholding tax, no estate tax, no dividend tax, no sales tax or value-added tax, and no tax on interest. Tax on rents is 15 per cent of rental income.

      Thanks to Osborne and Hammond (and still not corrected by Sunak) landlords in the UK pay taxes at rates that can even exceed 100% of their profits! Not exactly very “sustainable” or remotely sensible Mr Sunak. Please sort it!

      • BeebTax
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        We can’t leave it up to guesswork as to the numbers who may come – we did that with EU immigration and look what happened there.

        We’re supposed to be taking back control of our immigration policy, so we should specify skills we need, and numbers of immigrants that we’ll take. If we then want to the say we’ll prioritise HK applicants, so be it…but don’t give them carte Blanche.

    • anon
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      I am sure the former USSR has space & could offer hard working people a new start.

      Where could be quickly move 3m people? The Falkland islands? or similar.

  65. na
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Ferdinand, the problem the soviets made was not enough consumable goods to shut everyonbe up and keep them occupied.

  66. ed2
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Ferdinand, the problem the soviets made was not enough consumable goods to shut everyonbe up and keep them occupied.

    >
    and they ran out of Vodka

  67. ed2
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Chinese govt agents are very active in the UK on message forums that deal with Hong Kong, I have been told to mind my own business several times while campaigning for the Hong Kong people.

  68. ed2
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    When is the UK govt going to admit Covid 19 was a hoax?

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Like the Chinese our government need to save face and will never admit they got it wrong

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Do they know yet.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:27 am | Permalink

      Never !

  69. Not Bob
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Please stop this nonsense of attributing Covid 19 to the 10.000 people who die of old age every month in care homes. The govt seem desperate to destroy the churches and pubs, why? Spite?

  70. Freeborn John
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Why is the U.K. negotiating with the EU on recreating the Erasmus student exchange scheme? That will only result in a one-sided flow of European students here to take advantage of an English-language education at the expense of British taxpayers.

    The U.K. has to end one-sided madness like that.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

      John

      They are trying to recreate our membership of the EU. The whole lot of them cannot and will not accept our vote to Leave. They sat on Art.50 for a while. Dithered and tried to force a bad deal on us but, realised we were smarter than they and we would replace them with the BXP. This is what the EU refer to as Cherry Picking. With the EU, you are either a member or not. If you are a member you have to accept all that it entails. The UK government is trying to remain a member without looking like it is.

  71. Me
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    JR Perhaps you would agree with the generality of this, but there are a number of places in this world it would have been better for all concerned if History had allowed the British to stay a little longer than they did.

    • steve
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Me

      You could take that further by arguing that we shouldn’t have liberated Europe in WWII, after all, it was the French who seeded the entire mess with their treaty of Versailles.

  72. Ed M
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,

    Why doesn’t the government open up shops / back to work / 1 metre not 2 metre rule in planes. But ruthlessly stop social distancing until the R rate goes down.

    With this approach, we don’t affect the economy but we can get the R down so that in 2 to 4 weeks time, we can return to current social mixing rules and people can then go on holiday to wherever they want.

  73. Ed M
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    So we need to go back to lock-down – SOCIALLY NOT ECONOMICALLY – from 2 to 4 weeks.

  74. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    When it is the Chinese government that has caused the breakdown of government in Hong Kong, it is a bit rich to prescribe more subservience to Chinese law. Physician, heal thyself.

  75. Oh dear.
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Trump here, referred to China. His words softer , about trade, so I suspect he has had good talks by phone too on Hong Kong with the President of China. Both are pragmatists. Each has to be seen to win in their own jurisdictions.
    He also refers to the UK having a bad time with the virus.
    As to Hong Kong Chinese coming here. Knowing their history a little, I feel sorry for them.I don’t mind. They cannot be worse than my neighbours and the Labour Council improving things. But their independence struggle for an independent Hong Kong is a dream.The attempt would cause too much trouble, the actuality never secure. Thinking like China “It’s our land fulls stop.”
    https://twitter.com/WhiteHouse/status/1268913146745372673?s=20

  76. na
    Posted June 5, 2020 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    ne also wonders whether CV20 is already waiting in the Wuhan Lab?

    …………
    Viral contagion is a myth, fake news. Japan has proved it.

  77. dixie
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Absolutely offer UK residence to HK nationals. But, instead of casting around the UK to build an HK 2.0, make the whole of the UK HK 2.0.

  78. steve
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    JR

    “Is it right to offer UK residence to Hong Kong citizens?”

    No, there are too many of them and besides we’re full up.

  79. Stephen G Speakman
    Posted June 6, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Dear John Redwood,
                                   A country is more than a dynamic economy and whilst admitting the paramount importance of economic dynamism it must also be accompanied by a sense of stability,place and tradition.
    Allowing entry to three million Hong Kong Chinese is to dismiss on an epic scale our nation’s stability and demean its hopeful population in their expectation of a stable demographic (such as we had hoped it would become under the conservative ‘firm but fair’ promise) in a move that would be met by hostility where the voting public are concerned.
    I was worried about the Conservative failure on many issues such as perpetually banging on in metric which seemed a betrayal of the spirit of Brexit and becoming and remaining blind to the intense economic damage being done by a ridiculous lock down that is —increasingly evident—saving no one and possibly costing lives. But now my concerns are frenetic in their intensity! The Dominic Cummings saga was bad,the continual failure with regard to cross channel illegal entry yet again failing to be tackled was and is frustratingly grim but then this :BORIS WOULD WELCOME THREE MILLION—well this means I have no political home at all and least of all with the desperados’ who are the Conservative party who have not only exasperated me but destroyed my faith completely!
    Where to now for those in these Islands who need a stable well controlled border and a certain homeland?
    This pronouncement is like a bizarre nightmare. It is not that one does not have sympathy with the Hong Kong Chinese and we should support them and can do so in many ways–petitioning,trade embargo,international accords etc but inviting THREE MILLION to join our intensely overcrowded Islands with 67 million here already and not even asking us if we mind!!!!

    I am sad and despairing and I am devastated.
     
    Yours Faithfully
     
     
    Stephen G Speakman
     

    • BeebTax
      Posted June 6, 2020 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      I think you are speaking for a lot of us here. What in earth has gone wrong with the Tory Party?

      • percy openshaw
        Posted June 6, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        It has been subject to a hostile takeover, since 2005. That election – which actually marked the beginnings of a true Tory renaissance – saw a greater number of English votes go to the Conservatives. Had boundaries not been slowly gerrymandered by neglect; and had Blair’s devolution been remotely viable or fair – Tory influence upon policy would have started then. But alas Michael Howard and his assistants wearily and inaccurately concluded that only the Cameron sell-out would do. So they backed Cameron, dished Davis and lost the party – first, to its own left; and now to the establishment left. Now, without roots, lacking confidence, denuded of experience in its upper ranks and shorn of wider cultural allies, the Tory party floats at the mercy of events.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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