London- The British Parliament is discussing the controversial “Nationality and Borders” bill, due to the amendments made to it by the British Home Office at the last moment, especially with regard to the requirements to withdraw citizenship from those whom the Ministry considers a danger to the country.
Since the draft was presented to Parliament, it has raised political, human rights and legal discussions, as it contains new texts that define the way to deal with asylum seekers who have arrived in Britain illegally, and grant broad powers to the border guards to return migrants who want to reach the country by sea.
The draft law reconsiders granting citizenship to children born to parents who arrived in the country legally and whose residency status has not been settled, as it sets conditions for them that will complicate their acquisition of citizenship.
After re-reading the bill twice in the British House of Commons, it reached the stage of being presented to parliamentary committees for reading and comments, before being read again for the third time. However, during the past few days, the British Home Secretary Priti Patel introduced an amendment regarding the withdrawal of citizenship, which raised the concerns of human rights defenders.
What is the clause related to revocation of citizenship?
This item is entitled “Notification of the Decision to Revoke Nationality,” and exempts the government from the obligation to inform the person concerned that his nationality has been withdrawn in the event that “this was not possible,” meaning that communication with the person concerned is difficult or impossible, as well as in the event that the withdrawal of nationality was In the interest of national security, the country’s diplomatic relations or the public interest.
This is not the first time that such a clause has been raised. In 2005, after the London bombings, it was proposed to grant the Ministry of the Interior to withdraw the citizenship of those it deems to pose a threat to security, then the decision was reversed, and it also returned in 2010 with Theresa May, who was then Minister The Ministry of the Interior, and the matter was completely abandoned in 2014.
What are the motives of the Ministry of the Interior?
The Ministry of Interior justifies its efforts to obtain the powers to withdraw citizenship without informing its owner, that citizenship is “a privilege and not a duty,” and the individual must be eligible to obtain it, and in the event of breach of any legal obligation, it must be withdrawn.
As for not informing those who have their citizenship withdrawn, the ministry says that there are cases of people who are difficult to communicate with to tell them, as is the case with those who left the country and joined terrorist organizations.
The case of the British young woman, Shamima Begum – known as the “bride of ISIS” (ISIS) – remains pivotal in this controversy, after a decision by the British High Court not to allow Begum to return to Britain in order to face the Ministry of the Interior’s decision to withdraw her citizenship, and she is currently living In one of the refugee camps on the Syrian border, the Ministry of the Interior wants to avoid such legal battles that may last months or even years.
Does the item target Muslims?
The British newspaper “The Guardian”, in a strong editorial, expressed its rejection of this provision, saying that this measure is “unjust and cruel and MPs should be ashamed of themselves before it is passed”, adding that it is “authoritarian and unfair”.
Many criticisms are directed at this decision, as it deprives anyone with British citizenship of the right to know the charges against him, as well as the right to respond to these charges and to challenge the decision of the Ministry of the Interior.
And the Guardian warned that this provision sends a message to a group of Britons, especially non-whites and Muslims, that despite their birth in the United Kingdom and their knowledge of no other country, “their nationality remains far from safe.”
What about the rest of the details of the law?
Among the controversial details of the “Nationality and Borders” law, it included rejecting an asylum request for anyone who arrives in the country illegally, criminalizing anyone trying to help migrants or saving them from drowning at sea, in addition to granting immunity to border guards if anyone died during Return operations at sea and prevention of access to Britain.
The Ministry of the Interior justifies these strict requirements that it wants to eliminate human smuggling gangs and protect the lives of asylum seekers.
In fact, this law comes at a time when the number of migrants arriving in Britain via the sea channel has tripled, compared to last year.
Amnesty International stressed that this law will not protect asylum seekers and migrants, because it does not provide them with any safe route to reach Britain, and will not contribute to reducing the work of human smuggling gangs.
There is another challenge facing the Ministry of the Interior, which is the threat of the Border Guard Union to resort to the judiciary to object to the procedures for returning the boats of migrants and preventing them from entering British territorial waters, due to the risk of drowning the migrants. According to media leaks, legal experts in the Ministry of Interior warned the minister that this legal challenge with the border guards may be a big loser.