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British Nationals Abroad: Repatriation

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 4th February 2020.

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Photo of Nick Thomas-Symonds Nick Thomas-Symonds Shadow Solicitor General, Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Security)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Chinese counterpart on allowing spouses of UK citizens, that are Chinese citizens to be repatriated to the UK from China.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The Foreign Secretary has spoken directly to his Chinese counterpart about the evacuation of British nationals from Hubei Province, and he raised the issue of dual-nationals and dependents, emphasising the importance of keeping families together. Contact with the Chinese authorities continued at Senior Official level. The Chinese Government did make a last-minute decision to allow dual nationals and dependents to board the UK flight which arrived at RAF Brize Norton on 31 January. At 1945 on 2 February, we successfully evacuated a further 11 people – 7 British nationals and 4 dependents. These figures were correct as of 4 February. We remain in close contact with the Chinese authorities and are working with international partners to provide other ways for British nationals who remain in Hubei to return home.

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