Citizenship removal leading to statelessness (April 2016)

The Immigration Act 2014 revived the Home Secretary’s power to remove citizenship from UK nationals, even when they have no other citizenship.¬† Such a power existed prior to 2003, though it had not been used since 1973.

So controversial was this power (which in its application to single nationals exceeds powers recently introduced or debated in Australia, Canada and France) that Parliament insisted on provision being made for the independent review of its operation.  The Immigration Minister, James Brokenshire MP, asked me to conduct the first review.

The first report on the new power was laid before Parliament on 21 April.  The power has not so far been used, so strictly speaking there was nothing to report on.  But I took the opportunity in my report to explain the historical and comparative background to the power, and to set out some reasons for scepticism as to its utility in the global fight against terrorism.

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