The bill lets the government remove British citizenship from dual nationals deemed to be 'seriously prejudicial to the vital interests' of the UK
It forbids making people stateless legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/41/…
It was never really gotten rid of, just superseded by more modern writs en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_pre…
Remember this was in the months after 9/11; the bill is sort of the UK's version of the PATRIOT Act
The Egyptian-born hate preacher was stripped of his UK nationality in 2003, but he appealed, successfully, on the grounds that it rendered him stateless.
He was eventually tried and convicted in 2014 bbc.com/news/world-us-…
Statelessness remains prohibited
He was released in 2007 and has written a book about his experience theguardian.com/uk/2007/jan/11…
Since many countries don't allow dual nationality (Iraq and Pakistan, notably), when the home office stripped dual nationals of their British citizenship they were breaking their own law that prohibited statelessness
Britain's 1000-yr habeas corpus record was being steamrolled by a minister with a stamp
In 2014 she introduced a clause in the Immigration Act that would allow her to strip the nationality of citizens *even if it rendered them stateless* legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/22/…
"reasonable grounds for believing that the person is able, under the law of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom, to become a national of such a country or territory"
This is hokum
That's like me demolishing your house and saying you're not homeless because you could in theory build another
But I covered cases where a suspect was hopelessly lost, literally and figuratively, in a system stacked overwhelmingly in favour of executive fiat over judicial fair process
Or you would, if you were in the country, which you won't be, because that's how this works thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2014-0…
This happened to a man named in court documents as E2. I tracked him down to Pakistan, where he lives in fear for his life independent.co.uk/news/world/asi…
This is where things get really Kafkaesque
Citizenship stripping and statelessness run contrary to every legal, human rights, security and moral norm. It is to be expected from a home office that has given us hostile environment, racist vans, Windrush and stop-and-search profiling
And think about this: If I was Shamima Begum, I'd still have my British nationality today.
She doesn't because she has Bangladeshi heritage. Is that fair?
The 2014 Immigration Act essentially created 2 tiers of British citizenship:
- Those with no foreign roots (i.e. British-born, British ancestry) who can't be stripped
- Those with some foreign roots (i.e. dual-national or naturalised) who can
Given citizenship-stripping is executive, and only appeal judicial, all 150 were by definition innocent when the orders were given
- These people are guilty of crimes
- He has evidence to prove this
Then, under the British legal system, we should prosecute them, not renounce all ties to and responsibilities for them, surely?
It deprives some (but not all) British nationals of basic freedoms and protections, and it doesn't keep us safe
Theresa May and Sajid Javid may not be monsters but it's hard to argue they are exceptional or even baseline-competent ministers. They are making life-or-death decisions based on a hunch