Debates between Lord Green of Deddington and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle during the 2019-2024 Parliament

Tue 8th Mar 2022

Nationality and Borders Bill

Debate between Lord Green of Deddington and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle
Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP)
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My Lords, I declare my position as the co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hong Kong. I am in the rare position of congratulating the Government very warmly and thanking them for listening to campaigners, including on their own Benches, in taking this step for the younger people of Hong Kong who have at least one BNO passport-holding parent. I also join the noble Lord, Lord Alton, in congratulating the Government on the welcome programme for the BNO passport holders coming here. The APPG heard from the noble Lord, Lord Greenhalgh, this week and we appreciated his enthusiastic words on that programme.

I will make one extra point. The all-party group held an inquiry into the treatment of young medics and humanitarian workers in Hong Kong during protests. Those young people had to have their voices disguised to testify to us. I remember one of them, who as he was talking to us on the Zoom call was glancing at the door, saying, “I don’t know if the police will come through that door at this moment.” I have no doubt that some of those young people speaking to us had parents who were BNO passport holders, but some of them did not, yet they were young people who had made similar contributions to that society. My simple question to the Government is: will they in future, as the noble Lord, Lord Alton said, work with Commonwealth countries to see that all of those young people who have made brave contributions to democracy and the rule of law in Hong Kong are able to find a route out if they need to?

Lord Green of Deddington Portrait Lord Green of Deddington (CB)
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My Lords, I will even more briefly strike a slightly different note. This proposal—I know it has virtually gone through—is very unwise. We have a scheme which already applies to rather more than 5 million people. That is surely enough, and we should leave it at that.