Last week, we reported that during the third reading of the Immigration Bill at the House of Commons, Theresa May won the vote by by 305 to 239 to make terror suspects stateless. In the House of Lords yesterday, peers voted through the new clause to the Immigration Bill in a 286 to 193 vote. It should be mentioned that the clause in practice can only be used on those who have dual-nationality. Under the current laws, the Home Secretary cannot remove citizenship if it will leave an individual stateless. Some human rights lawyers have compared the legislation to ‘medieval exile’, with 27 people losing their citizenship on national security grounds under the current legislation.
Baroness Kennedy QC Questions Practicability of Clause 60
Although the Home Secretary won the vote by 305 to 239 in the House of Commons, she will not be allowed to make migrants stateless without “reasonable grounds” that they would be able to become a Citizen somewhere else.
Baroness Kennedy QC, who was among the peers in the House of Lords yesterday questioned the clauses’ practicability:
“Would another country seriously consider giving nationality, even to someone who might have the ability to apply for nationality of that country, if it knew that British citizenship had been removed on the grounds that the person was believed to be in some way linked to, or to condone, international terrorism?”
‘Disappointing’ to see Change in UK Human Rights Policy
Last month, the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) published a report in which they stated their belief that clause 60 of the Bill (to deprive a naturalised citizen of their citizenship) may lead to an increase in statelessness which could represent a change of position in the UK’s human rights policy. Dr Hywel Francis, the chair of the joint committee on human rights, stated:
“The new power will lead to an increase in the number of stateless people and exposes British citizens to the risk of being left stateless. As the supreme court recently said, statelessness is an ‘evil’: it takes away the right to have rights.
The power does not in itself put the UK in breach of any of its international obligations in relation to statelessness but it does pose the risk of breaching our international obligations to other states. We are particularly concerned about the power being used when citizens are abroad. Parliament needs more information about how similar powers have been used in the recent past and assurances about how this power will be used in the future.”
Successful UK Naturalisation/British Citizenship Applications & Appeals
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