This is not how Mrs Lee imagined her heart age in Hong Kong: doing an nameless interview, the usage of a pseudonym, as she prepares to go away her house.
“I’m a standard Hong Konger,” she tells Sky Information. “I consider there should be justice.”
“I am not younger. I am 48 and my husband is in his fifties. I’ve two youngsters. That is for my youngsters.”
Mrs Lee is amongst masses, if no longer hundreds, of Hong Kong citizens making ready to go away the territory and soak up the United Kingdom’s be offering of a trail to citizenship there.
Remaining 12 months’s protests, and Beijing’s imposition of a sweeping nationwide safety legislation this 12 months, have became Mrs Lee and her circle of relatives – her youngsters are faculty age – into not likely refugees.
Sooner than that, she says she were “a Hong Kong pig” – any individual extra involved for their very own well-being than politics.
“If I had no youngsters I may keep right here and be a relaxed Hong Kong pig. I am midway via my existence already. But if I’ve youngsters so younger, they are able to’t be restricted right here.”
“If I keep in Hong Kong, I will be able to be a 2d or third-class citizen. I will be able to by no means have the fitting to vote [for the city’s leader]. And I will be able to handiest have a Hong Kong passport.
“But when I’ve the chance to visit the United Kingdom, and we give a contribution to society, then my youngsters will likely be top quality voters, as a result of they are going to have a British passport and the fitting to vote.”
Mrs Lee thinks that she’s going to get started a industry in Manchester, almost certainly a cafe.
“We respect that the United Kingdom has opened this door to us,” she says.
After Beijing imposed the nationwide safety legislation in Hong Kong, the British govt made an be offering to these eligible for a British Nationwide (Out of the country) Passport – that means any person born earlier than the handover of Hong Kong in 1997 and their dependants.
Round 3 million persons are eligible.
BNO voters will be capable to keep and paintings in the United Kingdom for 5 years. After every other 12 months, they’re going to be allowed to use for citizenship.
China has reacted angrily, accusing the United Kingdom of interfering in its inside affairs, and has threatened to forestall recognising BNO passports, even though the true implications of that don’t seem to be transparent.
However it isn’t having a lot of a deterrent impact on folks in Hong Kong.
Billy Wong, an immigration guide, tells Sky Information that there was a “huge” building up in call for.
He estimates that, earlier than the trade within the BNO coverage, it could value between £300,000 and £400,000 to transport to the United Kingdom – many of the cash wanted for an innovator visa to start out a industry, the remainder for residing bills.
Now the overall value will likely be within the hundreds.
Mr Wong says it is more uncomplicated for Hong Kong folks to transport to the United Kingdom than Taiwan, a standard vacation spot.
“The edge for UK immigration has all the time been rather prime,” he tells Sky Information. “Now that the door for BNO is open… the United Kingdom turns into a more sensible choice, proper to your doorstep.”
However others don’t seem to be shifting – no less than no longer but.
Pong, a movie and documentary maker, had a BNO passport however it expired greater than 10 years in the past. He does not plan to get every other.
Sky Information asks what it could take for him to go away Hong Kong.
“Perhaps if the liberty of speech shrinks to an extent that it impacts my filming and inventive manufacturing,” he says.
“If it will get so unhealthy that my existence is at risk, or that I will be able to get arrested – at that time I may imagine leaving.”
At that time, regardless that, would he be capable to go away?
“It is true,” he says. “If I wait till then, it may well be too past due.”