BREAKING: UK Government and Parliamentarians calls for democratic reforms in Hong Kong in face of "democratic deficit"
On 18 June, the House of Commons met for an "Urgent Question" debate on Hong Kong. During the debate, the UK Government Minister for Asia, Mark Field, said the Hong Kong government should consider reforms to correct a democratic deficit in Hong Kong.
Fiona Bruce MP raised a question: "Doesn't the Minister agree that two million people repeatedly taking to the streets is a sign of wider concerns about Hong Kong's increasing democratic deficit in the last few years? ... Doesn't the Minister agree that the Hong Kong government should be initiating democratic reforms to avoid the repeat of such incidents in the future?"
Mark Field, the Minister for Asia, said in response that "she is absolutely right". He noted that as a result of this democratic deficit: "action on the streets has been the only answer. We think there should and must be another way. Perhaps we can discuss some of the democratic reforms which might be put into place"
Separately during the debate, John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, said the House of Commons is "shocked" and "outraged" by what is happening in Hong Kong, and "deplore" the mistreatment of protestors in Hong Kong.
Bercow's comments came during the fourth debate in seven days in the House of Commons on the matter.
Several MPs, including Alistair Carmichael MP and Helen Goodman MP, called for the full withdrawal of the extradition law proposals. Their comments follows a letter from Lord Patten of Barnes, the last Governor of Hong Kong, to the Times newspaper, calling for the same thing.
Lord Patten said: "Britain should make plain that the Hong Kong government should drop, not simply suspend, the proposed extradition law that would demolish the firewall between the rule of law in Hong Kong and whatever passes for the law in China.
...[and], we should call for a full public inquiry into the policing of the demonstrations over the past ten days under the chairmanship of an independent and respected local Hong Kong citizen."
Watch the Urgent Question on situation in Hong Kong here.