Theresa May is pushing legislation in order to expand her powers to strip naturalised UK citizens of their citizenship even if it leaves them stateless, which means no human or civil rights anywhere, simply because the minister considers you to “pose a threat to the UK.”
Not only does it push efforts to make citizenship a second class system and make it a “privilege, not a right” as Theresa May says, but secret courts will ensure ministers and the government evade accountability.
This is wholly draconian, a violation of human rights and must be opposed.
Email your MP with the following body letter and share this action alert with everyone you know.
I am writing to you in regards to Clause 60 of the Immigration Bill and how it impacts the civil and human rights of British Citizens.
The Home Minister, Theresa May, is pushing for legislation in which she and future Home Ministers will have the power strip a UK citizen of their citizenship, even if it makes them stateless. This has been described as a “medieval” exile, leaving the individual highly vulnerable to exploitation, entirely void of rights and unable to partake in any civil society legally. The US Supreme Court has even described such a thing as, “a form of punishment more primitive than torture”.
To make this draconian bill even worse, under the current powers, the Home Minister has persistently used “national security” as a means to keep the evidence and even the reason for the legal punishment secret. The persistent trend, year after year, our governments has sought out new means to conceal prosecutions from the public, prevent open scrutiny, critic and accountability of those decision and those who make them. The occasions where the present Minister has stripped Citizenship has not been an exception to this.
In addition, the proposal puts so much power into one individual hands. The case of Hilal al-Jedda has already been raised in parliamentary debates. An Iraqi-born man received a ruling from the Supreme Court that he could not lose his British citizenship as it would be illegal to make him stateless. Theresa May stripped his citizenship a second time only weeks after the verdict. How can we allow a bill to pass that makes a public serving minister to act above the rule of the land?
This amended bill still states that the Home Minister can revoke citizenship of those she believes poses a threat to the UK. The subjective nature of this is highly worrying and allows grounds for grave injustice based on discrimination caused by the Minister of the day on behalf of the state. Theresa May has said many times that “citizenship is a privilege, not a right”. What conditions does the Minister of the day believe citizenship is a privilege? Would it be status? Political ideology? Or even money? This bill only seeks to politicise our basic fundamental civil rights. UK citizens should expect the right to express their views lawfully without fear of persecution.
Consequently, this bill should not be entertained at all. It is directly contradictory to Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that ‘everyone has the right to a nationality’ and ‘no-one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality’. This is a type of law we would expect from tyrannical regimes, not a democracy. As Lord Pannick said, “There are regrettably all too many dictators around the world willing to use the creation of statelessness as a weapon. We should do nothing to suggest that it is acceptable.”
Due to the unaccountable and stealthy nature Theresa May has used her powers, it would be unimaginable to even think expanding those powers would be viable option.
As my MP, I request that you vote against Clause 60 of the immigration for the following reasons:
- There is no open justice and due accountability in this bill due to the secret and stealthy nature of the powers.
- It politicises our fundamental civil rights underpinned by citizenship, creating a second class citizenship system in the UK.
- Immigration Minister argues that those who are made stateless would have avenues to gain other nationalities, but many legal experts state this is manifestly incorrect.
- Parliament has no power to impose the burden of statelessness on other nations, nor do we have any right to make any country to accept them.
- It is a direct violation of international law, that would undoubtedly negatively impact the international standing of the UK around the world.
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