Friday, February 26, 2016

Home Secretary considers stripping Rotherham abusers of their citizenship - statement


 I've been asked for my views on this news story today so prepared a brief statement:

·         The Home Office is right that the Home Secretary can deprive citizenship of someone where "conducive to the public good". It’s a power that Theresa May has been trying to use with greater frequency in recent years. This power is certainly controversial and to be used with caution - but it is a power she can use.

·         The big question is not whether May can do this, but rather whether someone can be deported.  But let me deal with an important condition first. The Home Secretary can only deprive  someone of their citizenship if this does not render him or her stateless. In practice, this means only dual nationals - individuals who have a non-UK nationality in addition to being British citizens - can be targeted by this measure.

·         So the real issue is not whether the Home Secretary can do this, but what happens next fi she does. After losing citizenship, a person can still could apply for asylum or appeal against deportation on grounds of right to family life or risk of torture in home country. This means that stripping citizenship is a major power not to be underestimated, but ending someone's Britishness does not mean ending someone's remaining in Britain. Oh, and this has nothing to do with being in or out of the EU.

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