Over 120,000 people sign petition denouncing changes to the Nationality and Borders bill

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At the time of writing, over 120,000 people have signed a petition calling for the government to stop revoking the British citizenship of 'ethnic minorities' in the UK. The petition follows recent amendments to the contentious Nationality and Borders Bill, and it represents the clearest evidence yet of public opposition to the bill.

What’s the problem with the update?

The bill had already faced criticism for posing considerable barriers to would-be asylum seekers, a point underscored by the recent tragedy in the Channel. The viral petition takes aim at the newly updated 'clause 9', which would give the government the authority to give "notice of decision to deprive a person of citizenship". This would see due notice waived in cases where the government believes it is not in the interests of national security, the relationship between the United Kingdom and another country, or the public interest.

First reported by The Guardian last Wednesday, the updated power to revoke citizenship without notice, while also potentially being applied retrospectively, has provoked strong reaction and raised questions over the legality of measures that could potentially infringe upon the right of individuals to appeal the decision. 

Speaking to The Guardian, Maya Foa, the director of Reprieve, remarked that the new measures would give the Home Office the power to effectively “remove your citizenship in secret, without even having to tell you, and effectively deny you an appeal”. 

Image credit: Jordhan Madec

The update has naturally raised concerns about not only how these powers would be applied but who is also likely to be most affected when they are employed, with British born dual nationals most likely to be impacted. The petition states that the updated bill could prove especially problematic to British Asian Muslims. 

One supporter of the petition Sarah Calvert remarked: “It is wrong to create second class citizens, who can be stripped of their citizenship.”

Another supporter named Sadia Abbas·also commented stating: “It is not up to the government to strip someone from the place of their birth the right to live there. There are other measures that can be taken and the country needs to DEAL with their citizens in their own country.”

Mayowa Ayodele

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