In news which has drawn comparisons to the contentious case of Shamima Begum, the British schoolgirl who fled the country to join Isis in Syria, it’s been reported that a new bill – currently on its way through Parliament - could give the Home Office the power to remove a person’s British citizenship without their knowledge.
The recent proposed change in the Nationality and Borders Bill, reported by The Guardian, states under section nine that the requirement to notify individuals that their citizenship has been revoked “does not apply” if it’s not “reasonably practicable” to do so.
The home secretary, Priti Patel, also wouldn’t need to give notice if it’s “in the interests of national security” or the relationship between the UK and another country, or it’s “otherwise in the public interest”.
The Guardian also reports that the power to remove British citizenship – albeit with notice – was introduced in the aftermath of the London bombings in 2005. The new bill, currently in its report stage in the Commons, removes the requirement to notify the individual in question.
The move has since faced strong criticism online, with Twitter users describing it as “disgusting” and “like something out of a nightmare”.
“Deprivation of citizenship on conducive grounds is rightly reserved for those who pose a threat to the UK or whose conduct involves very high harm.
“The nationality and borders bill will amend the law so citizenship can be deprived where it is not practicable to give notice, for example if there is no way of communicating with the person,” they said.