What are your rights
in the UK

UK is one of the oldest existing constitutional monarchies and democracies in the world. The head of the state, Queen Elizabeth II, is one of the most recognisable figures Hong Kong people would not be unfamiliar with. The UK parliamentary system is well-developed where the parliament is elected in every few years to Westminster. Local governments are also given a lot of power so you can have your voice heard in both national and local affairs.


National Politics

There are currently two major political parties in the UK – the Conservative and the Labour parties. The Conservatives are generally more for upper class and pro-market, prefer low taxes and limited government regulations, whereas the Labour Party is generally a party for the working class, prefers stronger workers’ rights and labour unions and more welfare. There are also some smaller parties such as Liberal Democrats, the Greens, the Brexit Party and so on. The Scottish National Party who strives for Scottish independence is dominant and in power in Scotland. Unlike in Hong Kong, advocating for secession in the UK is legal and freely expressed. If you are BNO holder and you have a National Insurance number and a UK address, you can register to vote and participate in one of the oldest democratic practices in the world!


Local Politics

UK has a very decentralised political system where local authorities have a high degree of autonomy. For example, London is governed by the Greater London Authority, of which its mayor is elected directly by all Londoners. Additionally, London is divided in the City of London and 32 boroughs. These borough councils have a lot of power, from providing housing, waste collection, local planning, and licensing to managing cemeteries, libraries, schools and collecting council tax. For example, you may need to ask your local council for waste bin to they can collect your rubbish. So it is also important to get involved in your council.

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