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Lords criticise plans to remove UK citizenship without warning

Plans to strip people of British citizenship without prior warning are against British values and would render people from ethnic minorities second-class citizens, senior peers have warned.

Clause 9 of the nationality and borders bill, which exempts the government from having to give notice if it is not “reasonably practicable” to do so, or in the interests of national security, diplomatic relations or otherwise in the public interest, has attracted heavy criticism and protests outside parliament.

The peers say that even after the amendments, the clause would still have retrospective effect and treat past deprivations of citizenship “as if they were lawful, even where courts have found they failed to comply with statute at the time they were made”. Last month, the court of appeal upheld a high court ruling that the government acted unlawfully when it stripped a British woman in a Syrian refugee camp of her citizenship without telling her.

The peers write: “If she wishes, the home secretary can simply reissue the deprivation orders that were invalid because they were made unlawfully. Instead, the government aims to enact the legal fiction that they were always valid. It is manifestly unjust to unlawfully strip someone of all the rights that come with British citizenship, without even providing them notice, and then make that decision lawful years later by legislative fiat.”

Read the full story in The Guardian.