Next week we will publish advice from @RazaRazahusain and Eleanor Mitchell, instructed by @LeighDay_Law, on the removal of citizenship provision in the Nationality and Borders Bill.

In the meantime, I want to make some points about what that clause does. THREAD
The brilliant @WindrushLives account has tracked the extension over time of the power to remove citizenship but, as matters stand, the Home Secretary can remove citizenship if she is satisfied that doing so is "conducive to the public good". /1
That account has also explained how the power to remove citizenship can sometimes be exercised even if the consequence is that it will leave someone without citizenship of anywhere or "stateless". /2
Clause 9 of the Bill marks yet a further extension: the Home Secretary doesn't even need to tell the person who is being deprived of their citizenship of that fact where she thinks it's not in the public interest to tell them. /3
What I want to focus on is the world those provisions create - with one legal regime applying to people who have no relevant links to countries other than the UK (who I will call 'Indigenous citizens') and another regime for people who have those links ('Contingent citizens'). /4
The first and most obvious point to make is that Indigenous citizens will be overwhelmingly white and Contingent citizens - obviously I call them 'Contingent citizens' because their citizenship is contingent - will be disproportionately black or brown. /5
So the world those provisions create will be a world that will have disproportionate impacts on those who are black or brown. That is one reason why people - including me - are describing the provisions as "racist". /6
The other reason why the provisions, I think, are racist is this.

A real world constraint - not one which is in the law but one which is nevertheless real - on the use of the provisions is how much social capital is possessed by the person who is the subject of their use. /7
I have citizenship of New Zealand and it's not at all difficult to imagine a Home Secretary concluding that in her opinion my continued residency in the UK is not conducive to the public good. But she would never dare use those powers against me because of my social capital. /8
But social capital - like most other forms of capital - is not distributed neutrally across different skin colours. So, for example, a black campaigner would not have the same non-legal protections against use of the powers as I have. /9
So what I've tried to show is that the world created by the provisions is a racist world with different impacts for Indigenous citizens (who are very likely to be white) and Contingent citizens (who are much more likely to be black or brown).

But what are those impacts? /11
If you are a Contingent citizen the provisions will cast a shadow over everything you do.

Will you, for example, feel able to exercise your right to protest if it may have as its consequence the removal of your citizenship? /12
The provisions don't even have as a precondition for their exercise that you committed a criminal offence.

For example, not so long ago (…) large numbers of people faced deportation after lawfully amending their tax return. /13
The provisions create a racist regime for Contingent citizens - which is not controlled by rules of evidence; for 'misconduct' which is nowhere specified; which has no safeguards; and which carries the sanction of statelessness for those the Home Secretary deems 'wrongdoers'. /14
Many will assert - I understand it to be what the Government is briefing - that this is scaremongering and the provisions would never be used improperly.

To them I would say two things: first, if it is not intended that they be used widely why draw them so widely?
Second, even if you are sanguine about how Priti Patel might use the provisions, how can you know how a future Home Secretary, one more extreme than she is, might use them to control the conduct of, or punish without safeguards, Contingent citizens that they dislike? /ENDS

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More from @JolyonMaugham

6 Jan
The Guardian's brilliant investigations team has bottomed out the sleazy PPE Medpro deal. Well worth reading.…
There is one - for me - standout feature of the story and it is this: huge amounts of money were paid to those with political connections for help in winning contracts. Image
This is very far from the only such instance - similar points might be made about for example the £130 Pharmaceuticals Direct contracts (where we have a hearing in February) - and it raises this unanswerable question...
Read 6 tweets
6 Jan
Henceforth known as 'doing a Bethell'. Image
Perhaps it's obvious to others, but how does 'oh, it's on my other phone' explain how the Electoral Commission got the messages whilst Lord Geidt didn't?
Still, as we all know, Boris Johnson is truthful to a fault and this couldn't possibly be nonsense conjured from thin air.
Read 4 tweets
2 Jan
A really troubling read about clause 9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill which will enable Priti Patel to remove the citizenship of individuals - and them to be rendered stateless - without even being told.

By @ProfDPrabhat.…
The power to remove citizenship without notice "affects minorities and those of migrant heritage much more than it does white British nationals born in Britain" and taking away notice requirements means "potential challenges in courts will be eliminated at source."
In case Raab's plans to ignore international human rights norms didn't quite signal how ugly an international outlier the UK is, Professor Prabhat notes that: "Currently, no other country can make its own citizens stateless by depriving them of citizenship without notice."
Read 7 tweets
1 Jan
Desperate stuff. The clown-show of a Government has run out of lateral flow tests - and apparently we're to blame?? The truth is, we have worked with at least three UK based testing companies to help them tackle this Government's sleazy VIP procurement.…
Of course Government wants someone else to blame for its failures. But the only antigen LFT contract we have challenged is this one - where billions went to a Chinese startup for LFTs that were recalled in the US amidst suggestions of falsified data.…
In case you doubt the dishonesty of this Government when it comes to testing contracts see their denial - "completely false" - of our revelation of a VIP lane and then the undeniable proof. People not fit to run a church raffle have blown £37bn.
Read 7 tweets
30 Dec 21
Pleased people are asking aloud about the weird editorial choices BBC News makes. When trying to reconcile the BBC in your heart with that before your eyes, perhaps ask whether the weird choices involve punching up or down; do they embed or do they challenge establishment power?
I doubt the BBC's place as a wellhead of establishment power has changed. I think, instead, the world around the BBC has. Social media, Brexit, internationalism, etc, all challenge establishment power in lots of new ways such that the BBC's wellhead status now gets exposed.
I will never forget @BBCr4today (having persuaded me to come on under false pretences) then attacking me for being too rude about Government figures. A perfect illustration of how it sees its role: speaking 'truth' not to power but to those trying to keep power accountable.
Read 5 tweets
22 Dec 21
Once upon a time we thought it was a good thing for bigots to think twice before sounding off. Now the Government, aided by the sections of the press, attacks those who criticise bigotry.
Of course, the targets of bigotry are always those without power. And so the Government's stance, aided by sections of the press, entrenchs the ability of those with power to punch down at those without.
And there is no loss of free speech. Free speech is the right to speak; not to speak without consequence. The framing of it as a right to speak without consequence has as its intent the demonising of those who push back against the bigots - those without power (and their allies).
Read 7 tweets

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