In recent years, Judy, 36, a mother of two, has watched helplessly as Hong Kong authorities have reacted with repression to greater democracy in the former British colony.
When Britain paved the way for British citizenship for Hong Kong people born before 1997 (when the region reverted to Chinese sovereignty), Judy and her husband decided to leave with their two children.
The former public affairs officer resigned from work and the family is now actively preparing for an April trip to the UK.
“I think I’m very guilty and very sad, but I don’t even want to be here because I don’t feel safe,” said Judy AFP, one of ten people in the last few weeks to speak out about their decision Has agreed to. To live in Britain.
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London decided to grant a visa in Hong Kong last June in response to Beijing’s National Security Act.
It is not yet known how many Hong Kong residents intend to settle in the United Kingdom, as coronavirus limits international flights and severely affects the British economy.
Requests for British passports abroad (British National Overseas, BNO) by Hong Kong residents born before 1997 have increased 300% since June.
In 2020, around 7,000 of them settled in the United Kingdom.
British officials estimate that 154,000 people can settle in the next year and up to 322,000 in the next five years, around 2.9 billion (€ 3.3 billion).
In return, Hong Kong authorities have reduced the number of exits and believe some residents will complete their project.
They also believe that the arrival of the Chinese from the continent will compensate for this incident.
Regina Ip, a prominent official politician, discredited the late candidates, calling them “people without money, skills or education”.
However, the average profile of people interviewed by AFP does not match this description.
Most of them are university-educated, middle class, have small children and have enough money to work in the UK. Furthermore, they know that their standard of living will be lower than in Hong Kong and they have to start from scratch.