Joint Committee on Human Rights Written Evidence

4.  Memorandum from Mr Robin Tso, BritishHongKong

  I am writing to you on behalf of BritishHongKong, an organisation in Scotland. Our aim is to lobby on behalf of all British Nationals (Overseas) of all ethnicities for the basic human rights that we deserved as British Nationals, ie the right to abode in the UK and the right to full British Citizenship.

  Recently, Lord Goldsmith QC completed a Citizenship Review which addressed various issues relating to the different categories of British nationalities and their rights and responsibilities. Our organisation has produced a formal response to Lord Goldsmith's review to express out views and concerns. As suggestions from this review are likely to be debated as part of the upcoming Citizenship and Immigration Bill, I have attached a copy of this response[16] with this letter for your information.

  A summary of our main points:

    (1) We welcome Lord Goldsmith's suggestion to allow British nationals to register for British citizenship in order for the categories of British nationality to be reduced and to equalise the rights among all British nationals.

    (2) We are disappointed that Lord Goldsmith had not extended this recommendation to British Nationals (Overseas), citing the Joint Declaration with Chinas as a potential barrier.

    (3) However, the part of the Declaration which refers to BN(O)s is a unilateral declaration by the UK. Thus its legal standing is questionable.

    (4) We suggest that the UK take action to equalise the rights of BN(O)s in ways that do not cause problems with the Joint Declaration (if these problems do exist). A list of our recommendations can be found in our enclosed full response.

    (5) We also appreciate Lord Goldsmith's reminder to consider the ratification of Protocol 4 of the European Convention of Human Rights in any future changes to British nationality laws.

15 May 2008

16   Not published here. Back

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