Hong Kong

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:09 pm on 10th June 2019.

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Photo of Peter Grant Peter Grant Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 4:09 pm, 10th June 2019

I congratulate Catherine West on securing this urgent question and I thank you for granting it, Mr Speaker.

Anyone who saw last week’s remarkable documentary by Kate Adie to mark the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre will not need to be reminded what respect for human rights means to the Government of China. Although people will say that China has moved on since then, it has not moved on enough even to admit that Tiananmen Square happened, never mind to apologise to the relatives of all those who were killed. Most people in China do not know that the weekend’s protests in Hong Kong happened because the Chinese Government made absolutely sure that they were not allowed to know about them. That is the extent of the ongoing repression of human rights in China and we should all be concerned that a similar repression of human rights will start to be inflicted on the people of Hong Kong as well.

Normally, under an extradition treaty, a person cannot be extradited for an offence that is not a crime in the country they would be extradited from. That will not apply in these circumstances, however, because China will not respect the terms of any treaty with Hong Kong. Also, a person cannot normally be extradited to a country where they would not get a fair trial, but does anyone seriously believe that that protection would be respected for anyone in Hong Kong? I welcome some of the assurances that the Minister has given, but will he say a bit more about what action the United Kingdom is taking just now—through the United Nations, for example—to ensure that all possible international diplomatic pressure is brought to bear, not just in Hong Kong but, more importantly, in China to ensure that this law never becomes effective? Also, given that China is one of the countries that we are supposed to be looking keenly towards for a trade deal, may we have an assurance that in no circumstances will the prospect of a trade deal allow the voice of the United Kingdom and our allies in Europe to be silenced when it comes to speaking up in defence of the rights of people to whom the United Kingdom continues to owe a legal and moral responsibility?