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Deprivation of Citizenship Status

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:35 pm on 20th February 2019.

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Photo of Kenneth Clarke Kenneth Clarke Father of the House of Commons 1:35 pm, 20th February 2019

When I was Home Secretary, I did not deprive anyone of their citizenship, and although the power is necessary, it is being used with ever increasing frequency. Every patriotic British citizen has to accept that we have fellow citizens who are extremely unpleasant and have very unpleasant and dangerous ideas. We deal with them through the rule of law—international law and domestic law. Some people are mass murderers, but we have given up transportation or exile as a response to such cases.

As this woman is only one, but several hundred have already come back and hundreds of various western nationalities are now stranded in Syria, is it not right that we should begin at least from the position that we should accept back the people who are obviously British, by every ordinary test of the word, and that others have to accept back everybody who is obviously a national of their state? Somehow leaving these people to disperse through Syria seems to me quite a serious threat to future security. We can use the full force of the criminal law —we must—and the full resources of the intelligence services once these people have got back here. That is how my right hon. Friend is going to be able to protect the British public.