Leaving Hong Kong: a family's journey

This is the last time the Lai family celebrated the mid-autumn festival in Hong Kong making moon cakes together.

Asa and Willie say they no longer recognise the city they grew up in, after the demands of millions of people marching together last year were dismissed by the city's government and Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law in June on Hong Kong that China says will maintain public safety and bring order after last year's anti-government protests.

Officials also are adamant that the rights and freedoms of citizens remain intact.

A Hong Kong government spokesman said last year's "violent protests and anarchy on the streets" may be one of the motivations for people choosing to emigrate, along with job, schooling and business opportunities or other personal reasons.

But critics say the law further erodes autonomy in the city, and it's been followed by a relentless crackdown on dissent.

The Lai family say the response to the protests has brought uncertainty into their lives and pushed them to emigrate to Scotland.

"Us leaving is not because of politics as such, but we're leaving because politics is now impacting our lives."

"We are leaving Hong Kong because it isn't ideal for our children's future."

Asa and Willie were filled with hope that the city would turn toward greater democracy last year, as they marched with their children during the 2-million-strong June rally.

But authorities dug in their heels.

Police have arrested roughly 10,000 people in relation to the demonstrations.

"If the youth have to worry and have fear to speak out, then this isn't a suitable place. The best I can do right now is bring them to a more suitable environment.

What's incredibly sad about this is I can only help my own children."

Hong Kong, a former British colony, was promised wide-ranging freedoms when it was returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Since the imposition of the new security law, authorities have removed some pro-democracy books in libraries, banned certain songs, raided a newsroom and more.

The Lais are among thousands of Hong Kongers looking to escape Beijing's tightening grip.

"Is this Hong Kong still the same Hong Kong we know? The difference is huge, it's becoming more and more unfamiliar."

Initial indications show this may be a second wave of migration similar to the decade leading up to the 1997 handover to China.

They are sacrificing a comfortable life to rebuild it in a place they've never been before.

"This house is the result of our hardship, together we've experienced highs and lows, especially these few years with our third child and we've experienced some lows, but I hope we can continue on through the hardship and the path ahead."

After three days of packing and sifting through years of memories, they say their final goodbyes.

"I'm quite nervous, it's not the same feeling as going on holiday, we are going to such an unfamiliar place, who knows what challenges we will face."

"It's not a farewell, just see you soon."