Premier Li Peng has told Britain to stay out of Hong Kong's affairs after July 1, saying it has no role to play in monitoring the Joint Declaration after the handover. Mr Li said: 'Someone said they will still monitor the implementation of the Joint Declaration after July 1. This is unrealistic.' After July 1, Hong Kong would be a 'purely Chinese internal affair', he said. Hong Kong would enjoy 'a high degree of autonomy' and would be safe from interference from unauthorised departments and organisations on the mainland. However, the Foreign Office spokesman in Hong Kong, Bill Dickson, said: 'The Joint Declaration provides the continuation of the Joint Liaison Group as a channel of consultation until 2000. 'We will step up monitoring of the Joint Declaration and report to Parliament every six months. 'We will not hesitate to draw attention to China any defects we find over the implementation of the Joint Declaration and work closely with other countries.' A Government House spokesman said the Joint Declaration was a binding international treaty, which contained solemn commitments by China to Britain that the 'one country, two systems' policy would remain at least until 2047. Consultation through the JLG would be meaningless unless Britain monitored the implementation of the treaty, said the spokesman. 'Any suggestion that Britain has no right to do so is therefore extraordinary,' he added. Mr Li was speaking at the end of a National People's Congress plenum, at which members approved a work report of the Preparatory Committee. The report emphasised the committee's work, including the setting up of the provisional legislature, was based on the Basic Law and relevant NPC resolutions. The interim legislature could also begin its work before July 1. Local NPC members said the decision would further strengthen the legal status of the provisional legislature. A Government spokesman said: 'There is no way to give the provisional legislature any constitutional standing in Hong Kong before June 30. We must emphasise again that the provisional legislature is unjustified and unnecessary. 'This would be a most damaging and confidence-sapping start for the Special Administrative Region.' The NPC approved a set of rules to elect 36 local deputies to the NPC in its next session. Some local deputies abstained to express their disappointment because those who held foreign passports would not be excluded from voting on HK delegates.