Amendment 25

Part of Nationality and Borders Bill - Committee (1st Day) (Continued) – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 27th January 2022.

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Photo of Baroness McIntosh of Pickering Baroness McIntosh of Pickering Conservative 6:00 pm, 27th January 2022

My Lords, this debate has been very moving in parts and extremely thoughtful, and I thank everybody across the House who contributed.

I, for one, am not unsympathetic to what the Government are trying to do. To tackle my noble friend Lord Hunt full on, I think he said that if Parliament does not accept Clause 9 then the Committee, or Parliament, will try to stop the Government from doing it. From what I have heard from the debate today, I think that is precisely the mood of the Committee and the conclusion that we have reached.

There are a number of alternative amendments. The noble Lord, Lord Blunkett, and the noble Lord, Lord Moylan, have come to blows, if you like, as to the purport of Amendment 27. There are parts of the amendments tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Anderson, that I find attractive, in particular removing the whole of Clause 9.

Wider concerns have been expressed in the debate this afternoon. Practitioners have to meet this at the sharp end, hence the concerns of the Law Society of Scotland. Concerns have also been raised by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, as well as by the Constitution Committee of the House of Lords.

My noble friend Lord Hunt said that even if there is no right to be given notice of deprivation of citizenship, there is still a right of appeal. I quoted the comments of the Law Society of Scotland in my opening remarks. In paragraphs 19 and 20 of our own Constitution Committee report, this is addressed head on:

“if a person has not been given notice of the deprivation of citizenship it is difficult to see how he or she would be able to appeal the decision”,

because they simply do not know about it. In paragraph 20, it goes further. I referred to this earlier, so I apologise if I am repeating myself. It was not addressed in the summing up:

“If a person is to be deprived of citizenship without notice there ought to be additional safeguards.”

If my noble friend is agreeable—and I think she has a very good track record in this regard—I propose to come back with my Amendment 25. I should like this to be considered further. I am pleased that my noble friend addressed the concerns raised in my Amendment 26. She said that it is often for security reasons that the Government are not able to say. The benefit of Amendment 25, which does not go as far as the amendments in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Anderson, is that it would give the Government part of what they want but not all of it. I do not think we will reach an agreement in Committee this afternoon. I hope that my noble friend could perhaps convene a meeting of all of us who have these concerns, so that we could try to reach some common ground with her. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 25 withdrawn.

Amendments 26 and 27 not moved.

Clause 9 agreed.

Amendments 28 and 29 not moved.

Clause 10: Citizenship: stateless minors