Hilary Benn - Member of Parliament for Leeds Central
A number of constituents have got in touch with me about the Nationality and Borders Bill, and in particular Clause 9 which would allow the Government to remove people’s citizenship without giving them notice.
I know that this has caused a great deal of concern, in particular amongst Black and Asian minority communities, and it is a concern which I share. I oppose Clause 9 and I voted to remove it from the Bill. Unfortunately, we were defeated by the Government, but I hope that the House of Lords will now look at this again.
I voted against Cause 9 because I think it’s wrong in principle and unnecessary. Also, how can you appeal against the removal of your citizenship if you don’t know that it’s happened?
As you may be aware, the right to remove someone’s citizenship has existed for quite some time, although it is very rarely used, and it can only happen when a person has another nationality available to them. In other words, the Government cannot take away someone’s British citizenship and leave them stateless. The link below provides further information about the law in this area.
Removal of Citizenship | British Nationality | Citizenship | ICS Legal
I know this has caused a lot of worry on the part of my constituents, not least because of recent memories of the disgraceful treatment of so many people from the Windrush generation. It is important to stress, however, that removal of citizenship happens very rarely although there has been a recent increase in respect of those who went off to Iraq and Syria to fight for ISIS, and we will keep a close eye on any use of this power to stop the Government from acting unreasonably.
MP for Leeds Central