The New Nationality and Borders Bill is currently being debated in the House of Lords. However, it is facing opposition and a few protests along the way.
Why is the New Nationality and Borders Bill controversial?
The basic answer is that the Government can remove your British Nationality without your knowledge. You may ask why and how is this possible? This is not a new law, the Government have always been able to remove someone’s nationality and cases are judged on an individual basis. The difference here is that your British nationality can be removed without your knowledge! This could have far reaching consequences.
Under the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights – everyone has the right to a nationality so people cannot “arbitrarily” be left stateless.
If your British nationality is removed, where would you live and how especially if like many, you do not have any other nationalities. The Government’s stance is that some have dual nationality or could possibly obtain nationality of another country because of their ancestry history.
What Rights does your Nationality give you?
Being a British national and having British citizenship allows you to live in the UK freely without any restrictions. You are able to work, study, access our NHS healthcare system and vote
What are the possible reasons that your nationality could be removed?
The Government states that it is mainly in relation to cases of terrorists, war criminals and spies. However, you could have your British Nationality Stripped away under grounds of ‘national security’. This would be without your knowledge and for “maintaining relations with another country” and in the “public interest”.
Home Secretary Priti Patel says the law would be used in “exceptional circumstances”
A number of groups have spoken out against the bill and protests have taken place including Windrush Lives. The Windrush scandal occurred when large numbers of long-term British residents – many of them originally from the Caribbean – were told they were in the UK illegally despite living and working in the UK for decades.
We will have to wait until the Bill goes through to the committee stage and see what amendments Peers will make