Councilors in Trafford want to be prepared as up to 300,000 people are expected to emigrate from Hong Kong to the UK over the next five years.
The Liberal Democrats in the borough have raised the issue in a new proposal to be submitted to the full city council on Thursday, October 14, asking the council to keep track of who is moving to the area and give them the support they need.
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It says: “As a result of the Chinese government’s introduction of new laws on ‘national security’ and the British governments’ political shift to British national (overseas) visas, many people are choosing to emigrate to the UK from Hong Kong.
“The Home Office predicts that as many as 300,000 Hong Kongers may choose to relocate to the UK, with many choosing to settle in Trafford and elsewhere in Greater Manchester. This council recognizes and welcomes the enormous contribution that immigrants of all nationalities and backgrounds have made to British life.
“The historical, political and economic factors that currently surround the democratic freedoms of Hong Kong make the decision to emigrate particularly stressful for many Hong Kongers. There are several considerations and measures that local authorities can take to offer the warmest possible welcome to anyone who decides to take the trip to the UK. ”
A recent study published by HongKongers in the UK showed that the average age of those applying to live in the UK is currently 37 and 71 per cent of these applicants have at least a university degree.
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The Home Office’s estimates suggest a net gain for public finances of between 2.4 and 2.9 billion. Pound over the next five years due to the arrival of highly educated migrants from Hong Kong.
The government intends to set up 12 ‘Welcome Hubs’ across the UK to support Hong Kong residents when they move to the UK.
They will also give families £ 2,720 per person. Household (with a family member holding a UK national (overseas) visa) to support them.
The group warned that while the government currently predicts around 300,000 Hong Kongers could move to the UK by 2026, around 70 per cent of Hong Kong’s population is currently eligible for UK national (overseas) status, so this figure could rise ‘significantly’.
Trafford’s Lib Dems want to ensure that the district is ready to welcome and support those moving from Hong Kong to the area.
They will be advised to keep an eye on the enrollment of children in Hong Kong in Trafford’s schools and to allocate additional resources to ‘English as a Second Language’ as well as personal, social, health and financial education to help them settle.
The group also wants the council to help parents of children with special educational needs, in particular by providing information on the support available in Cantonese through the council’s website.
Lib Dems also wants the council to write to the government’s housing minister to express an interest in becoming part of Britain’s new “Welcome Hubs” scheme in Hong Kong.
The proposal will be debated and voted on at the next full Council meeting on Thursday 14 October.