Liberal Democrats

F4: Hong Kong

Mover: Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP (Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs).

Summation: Nick Chan.

Conference notes that:

  1. The UK and China signed the Sino-British declaration in 1984; the declaration was lodged at the United Nations and included a 50-year-long commitment to ensure that Hong Kong continues to function under a "one country, two systems" framework in order to uphold Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and progress towards universal suffrage; Hong Kong sovereignty was handed from the UK to China on 1st July 1997.
  2. In 2017 China's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the legally binding treaty "no longer has any practical significance".
  3. Up to two million people, across different socio-economic backgrounds, have taken to the streets of Hong Kong calling for democratic reforms.
  4. Clashes and violence have escalated, with reports of police using rubber bullets, tear gas, water cannons, and firing shots of live ammunition.
  5. Former Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Lord Ashdown, campaigned on providing right of abode in UK if China ever reneged on the promises enshrined in the international treaty.
  6. A recent poll showed that 63% of British people are concerned about human rights erosion in the region, while 49% believe that British MPs should "speak up about Hong Kong".

Conference believes that:

  1. The sentencing of pro-democracy protestors and reports of police violence in Hong Kong represent contravention of the Sino-British declaration.
  2. The UK has a moral and legal responsibility to ensure that democracy, the rule of law, and human rights are upheld in Hong Kong.
  3. The UK must stand with Hong Kong in their fight for human rights, calling for a full and independent investigation into police violence, and for further progress towards universal suffrage.

Conference calls for:

  1. The Liberal Democrats to pursue in Parliament all routes to ensuring that the UK honours our legal and moral duty to the people of Hong Kong by reopening the British National (Overseas) Passport offer, extending the scheme to provide the right to abode to all holders.
  2. The UK government to use Britain's diplomatic and trading relationship with China to help ensure Beijing refrains from using excessive or military force to end the protests.
  3. The UK government to ensure that the UK and our international partners indefinitely suspend all export licenses for crowd control equipment to Hong Kong.
  4. Applicability: Federal. Mover: 7 minutes; summation of motion and movers and summation of any amendments: 4 minutes; all other speakers: 3 minutes. For eligibility and procedure for speaking in this debate, see page 11. The deadline for amendments to this motion - see page 13 - and for requests for separate votes - see page 10 - is 13.00, Monday 2 March. Those selected for debate will be printed in Conference Extra and Saturday's Conference Daily.

Applicability: Federal.

Mover: 7 minutes; summation of motion and movers and summation of any amendments: 4 minutes; all other speakers: 3 minutes. For eligibility and procedure for speaking in this debate, see page 11.

The deadline for amendments to this motion - see page 13 - and for requests for separate votes - see page 10 - is 13.00, Monday 2 March. Those selected for debate will be printed in Conference Extra and Saturday's Conference Daily which will be published here.

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