Opinion: Nationality and Borders Bill

Over recent years there has been a growth in public expressions of anti-migrant, racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic views across the UK. Racially motivated crime has increased over the last year. As an organisation committed to anti-discrimination, diversity and inclusivity the CSP condemns this.

by amackenzie

Reports of the potential removal of British citizenship without notice are of deep concern. Since 1981 the law has allowed British citizenship to be removed from dual nationality if they are convicted criminals or on national security grounds.

We have concerns about the potential inappropriate use of this existing power. We are also concerned that Clause 9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill could be abused to prevent people challenging decisions.

Changes to the requirement to notify people of the intention to deprive them of citizenship under this clause have given rise to real anxiety and fear amongst some members.

This is especially the case for members who may have faced expulsion from another country in the past, whose British nationality has been questioned due to their race, who have been affected by the Windrush scandal or who are fearful of the way immigration is enforced. We understand the stress caused by talk of removing people from the UK.

So, we want to assure members that we would publicly oppose any proposal which we believed would give the government wider powers to deprive people of their British citizenship. We will continue to monitor the bill as it progresses through parliament. If the government seeks to extend the scope of the provisions for revoking British citizenship beyond current limits, or to allow someone to be made stateless, we will challenge this.

- Alex Mackenzie, Chair of CSP Council.

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