China law violates Hong Kong's autonomy, says UK PM Johnson

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the weekly question time debate in Parliament in London, Britain July 1, 2020, in this screen grab taken from video. Parliament TV/Reuters TV via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday China’s imposition of a security law on Hong Kong violated Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and threatened the freedoms and rights protected by the 1984 Joint Declaration.

“The enactment and imposition of this national security law constitute a clear and serious breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. It violates Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and is in direct conflict with Hong Kong’s basic law. The law also threatens the freedoms and rights protected by the joint declaration,” Johnson told parliament.

“We made clear ... that if China continued down this path we would introduce a new route for those with British National Overseas Status to enter the UK, granting them limited leave to remain, with the ability to live and work in the UK and thereafter to apply for citizenship and that is precisely what we will do now.”

Reporting by Kate Holton, writing by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Guy Faulconbridge