Amendment 25

Part of Nationality and Borders Bill - Committee (1st Day) (Continued) – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 27th January 2022.

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Photo of Baroness Blower Baroness Blower Labour 5:00 pm, 27th January 2022

My Lords, I did not speak on Second Reading, but I am delighted to have been here today to have heard the speeches from noble Lords, and what an interesting debate it has been. I have learned a good deal, and I am indebted to the Bingham Centre, whose publications I now read avidly to inform myself about legislation that comes before this House.

I am rather pleased to be following the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, because I was persuaded of the problems with Clause 9 by one of the paragraphs in the analysis from the Bingham Centre:

“Clause 9 departs from the requirements of the Rule of Law by allowing a British citizen to be deprived of their citizenship without even being warned about it, or told the grounds for it. There is zero judicial or parliamentary oversight of the dispensation of notice, and the grounds can be as insubstantial as the mere administrative inconvenience that it is not reasonably practicable to give notice.”

If that is what is intended by the legislation before us, there is definitely a chilling effect, as referenced by the noble Baroness, Lady Warsi, in the suggestion that this is how we should operate. I do not do demur from the argument that there will be difficulties at some point, as outlined by the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, but these are very wide powers and they have, as the Bingham Centre says, no judicial or parliamentary oversight at the point at which they would be invoked. Giving these powers to the Home Secretary—any Home Secretary—is unacceptable. In the words of the noble Baroness, Lady Mobarik, they would be divisive and would, in my view, not accord with the values of fairness, of justice or of equality before the law.