We have noted the concerns voiced by legal and business representative organisations and civil society groups in Hong Kong about both the content and the short consultation period allowed for the proposed changes to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance.
We have raised a number of issues relating to the proposals with the Hong Kong Government at senior levels. These include potential implications for our bilateral extradition treaty, as well as the potential consequences for the UK business community and for UK citizens living in or travelling through Hong Kong. We will continue to seek clarity from the authorities on these points.
The Foreign Secretary and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, issued a Joint Statement on 30 May 2019, which noted concern for the potential effect of the proposals on the large number of UK and Canadian citizens in Hong Kong, on business confidence and on Hong Kong’s international reputation. They made clear that any extradition arrangements in Hong Kong should be in line with ‘One Country, Two Systems’ and fully respect Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy. They also urged the Hong Kong Government to engage meaningfully with Hong Kong’s broad range of local and international stakeholders in order to ensure their concerns are fully considered.