Citizenship Deprivation2022-01-07T14:26:44+00:00
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There has been increased coverage of Britain’s ‘Citizenship Deprivation’ powers in the media lately, in large part due to an amendment in the Nationality and Borders Bill 2021/2022 which proposes to alter the deprivation process.

CAGE have been working on the issue of citizenship deprivation for many years now, through our research and casework.

Below you can find our explainers on citizenship deprivation powers, and past CAGE work around the British government’s use and abuse of the power.

What is citizenship deprivation?

What is Citizenship Deprivation?2022-01-05T04:35:16+00:00

Citizenship deprivation is when an individual with British citizenship – whether that is acquired through birth, naturalisation, being a citizen of a British overseas territory or otherwise – has that citizenship removed by the British government, usually the Home Secretary.

Citizenship deprivation is an ‘executive power’, meaning it can be exercised unilaterally without the need for usual legal process – i.e. without anyone being convicted of any crime. A deprivation order can be made where it is deemed ‘not conducive to the public good’ for an individual to keep their citizenship.

The scope and usage of citizenship deprivation powers has expanded during the War on Terror, and they are used heavily though not exclusively on the vague pretence of ‘national security’ or ‘countering terrorism’.

What laws allow for the deprivation of citizenship?2022-01-05T04:31:29+00:00

Citizenship deprivation powers can be traced back to section 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981.

This have been supplemented by a number of post-2000 laws, including the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, the Immigration Act 2014 as well as the Nationality and Borders Bill.

What is CAGE’s position on Citizenship Deprivation powers?2022-01-05T04:27:47+00:00

CAGE believe that Citizenship Deprivation powers are draconian and racist, as they overwhelmingly targets people who have ancestors or parents that are from a different ethnicity.

We oppose the use of the powers and campaign for the repeal of the law that enable them.

What is the relevance of the Nationality and Borders Bill?2022-01-05T04:20:12+00:00

The Nationality and Borders Bill was introduced to Parliament in summer 2021.

And amendment to the bill proposes to introduce Section 9, which alters the procedure for making a citizenship deprivation.

Section 9 introduces conditions whereby the Home Secretary would be exempted from issuing written notice to an individual having their citizenship deprived.

Contrary to speculation in media coverage, the amendment does not alter the grounds on which a deprivation order can be made, but rather the procedure of a deprivation.

What you need to know about citizenship deprivation

View our video explainer

Read our FAQ

Contact a caseworker for support

See CAGE’s past work on citizenship deprivation