Is the UK on the verge of a major migrant influx with 5.2 million Hong Kong Chinese to be offered path to British citizenship?

Hong Kong residents can apply from Sunday for a new visa offering them an opportunity to become British citizens after Beijing’s imposition of a national security law in the Asian financial hub last year, Reuters reports.

The move comes as China and Hong Kong have said they will no longer recognise the British National Overseas (BNO) passport as a valid travel document from Sunday, January 31st.

While the UK government admits the new visa could attract "more than 300,000 people" to Britain, where there is already a housing shortage, and where schools and health services are under considerable strain, some 2.9 million Hong Kong Chinese and 2.3 million dependents are covered by the BNO.

Migration, largely in the context of economic migration under the guise of seeking asylum from conflict zones, primarily via France, is a major political issue in the UK. Indeed, this and the arrival of cheap labour from the EU was a major factor in the June 2016 referendum in which the UK voted to leave the bloc.

The UK may, albeit for honourable reasons, be on the verge of a major influx of migrants.

Image: "Studio Incendo", via Wikipedia.

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