UK can now revoke citizenship without notice

Written by Harry Johnson

Controversial bill makes sweeping changes to asylum and refugee rules as well as gives the home secretary the power to remove someone’s British citizenship without notifying them.

Last week, amid popular uproar about a 2020 Downing Street Christmas party that allegedly defied COVID-19 restrictions, British lawmakers quietly passed the Nationality and Borders Bill through the House of Commons.

The bill, which aims to tighten up migration and asylum rules, passed 298 to 231.

“Our Bill will bring in a new, comprehensive, fair but firm long-term plan that seeks to address the challenge of illegal migration head on,” British Home Secretary Priti Patel told the Commons. 

Controversial bill makes sweeping changes to asylum and refugee rules as well as gives the home secretary the power to remove someone’s British citizenship without notifying them.

The legislation has been widely criticized for a number of reasons; first among them is the move to give the home secretary the power to revoke citizenship without telling people. Clause 9 – “Notice of decision to deprive a person of citizenship” – gives the exemption from having to provide notice of the removal of citizenship.

The exemption is applicable when the home secretary does not have the required information to give notice, as well as for any other reason deemed “reasonably practicable.” 

It is also noted that notice should not be given if it endangers national security, diplomatic relations, or if it’s in the public interest.

The bill also creates a two-tier asylum system, separating those that have arrived to UK from dangerous countries from those who have arrived from elsewhere in the world.

The also bill requires asylum seekers to make their asylum claim at a “designated space” and criminalizes illegally arriving in the UK.

The bill will be read in the House of Lords in the new year before moving to Royal Assent.

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