A video posted by the Home Office has claimed “some of the talk” around Priti Patel’s Nationality and Borders Bill powers to scrap British citizenship has been “incredibly misleading”.
The video, which highlights in capital letters in red that certain claims around the Bill’s effect are “NOT TRUE”, argues the removal of British citizenship has been possible for over a century, comes with a right of appeal and is used against terrorists, serious criminals and those who obtained citizenship by fraud.
“The Nationality and Borders Bill doesn’t change any of that. It’s only about how someone is notified,” the Home Office argued.
The video continues: “We will always try to notify someone of our intention to remove their citizenship. But sometimes that may not be possible, for example when someone is in a warzone or unknown location, contacting them would reveal intelligence sources.
“This is what the changes in the Borders Bill will address. We only do this in the most extreme circumstances. They still have a right to appeal. Nothing in the new legislation changes that.
“Our number one priority is to protect the British public. That is what our Borders Bill seeks to do.”
WATCH and reactions from Good Law Project and the UN
But lawyer Jo Maugham, director of the Good Law project, said a “great of ‘the talk’ that ‘has been incredibly misleading’ is from the Home Office” and urged UK people not to be “gaslit”.
He added: “The Nationality and Borders Bill, and clause 9, creates powers going far beyond what is needed ‘to protect the British public.’ And it contains multiple breaches of international law.
The petition, which argues citizenship “must be a right, not a privilege”, racked up more than 17,000 signatures at the time of writing.
Meanwhile, Oxford law professor Dr Maria W Norris put together a thread explaining why the Home Office is the one “misleading the public” and also urging people not to allow being “gaslit”.
She said the claim that removing citizenship is a power that existed for 100 years is like saying ‘we’ve had racial tiers of citizenship for a century, what’s the big deal?’
She then argued that people who are in war zone or refugee camps could not appeal because “they don’t have access to lawyers”, and said the powers do not protect the UK from terrorism.
United Nations warns the UK’s Nationality Bill violates international law
The United Nations have also raised concerns about the Tories’ Nationality and Borders Bill, saying experts said it breaches the UK’s obligations under international law.
The UN in Geneva tweeted: “If adopted, it would seriously undermine protection of the human rights of trafficked persons, including children.”
And UN special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Felipe Gonzalez said “several UN special rapporteurs expressed our serious concern regarding the UK Nationality and Border Bill, which violates International Law.”