Freetown, Sierra Leone (British Community)

Petition – in the House of Commons at 11:41 pm on 7 May 1981.

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Photo of Mr Ivor Stanbrook Mr Ivor Stanbrook , Bromley Orpington 11:41, 7 May 1981

With your permission, Mr. Deputy Speaker, and that of the House, I beg to leave to present a petition on behalf of the British community of Freetown, Sierra Leone.

The petition has been signed by 43 Britons, all of whom were born in the United Kingdom. They appeal to the House on behalf of their 70 children, all of whom were born abroad. Under the terms of the British Nationality Bill, now before a Standing Committee, those children will lose the right to pass their nationality on to their children, if also born abroad. The petition refers to the Government's amendment to the Bill, whereby other persons born abroad, who subsequently become Britons by naturalisation, have the right to pass their British nationality on to their children born abroad. The petitioners ask that the same right be allowed to their children, who are Britons of indigenous stock.

With your leave, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I shall read the petition. It states: Wherefore your petitioners pray that your Honourable House amend the British Nationality Bill to provide that relief from this disability to be given to our children and other British citizens by descent so as to match the relief the House has already by amendment to the Bill as first presented granted in respect of those children also born outside the United Kingdom to parents one or both of whom is a British citizen by registration or naturalisation and furthermore that the Honourable House provide that we their parents on behalf of our children themselves being of due age be permitted on whatever clement terms the House sees fit to impose to register all such children as British citizens so as to fortify their claim by descent against any impediment to their assumption of their full duties and rights as British citizens.And your Petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.

To lie upon the Table.