Passport issue explained

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)   The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government will support any counter measures adopted by the central government on the British National Overseas passport should the UK government deviate from the bilateral agreement on the issue.   Chief Executive Carrie Lam made the remarks ahead of the Executive Council meeting this morning.   Mrs Lam said: “The status of British National Overseas (BN(O)) passport holders was made very clear during the Sino-British negotiations before 1997, and by an explanation from the National People's Congress Standing Committee before the reunification that the BN(O) is a form of travel document. It is not a form of nationality.   “If one side, that is the UK government, tries to deviate from that mutual understanding and bilateral agreement, then of course it’s legitimate for the other side, that is the Central People's Government, to consider any counter measures. And the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government will of course support any counter measures to be adopted by the Central People's Government.”   The Chief Executive also noted that the majority of people in the city are Hong Kong SAR passport holders with the right of abode.   “They are Chinese citizens. At the same time, they are probably in possession of a Hong Kong SAR passport, of which there are about 5.8 million passports in circulation, and they also enjoy the right of abode in Hong Kong, which gives them the various rights as enshrined in the Basic Law.”
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