New Clause 4 - Minimum Income Requirement: Family members of British citizens with a connection to British Indian Ocean Territory

Part of Nationality and Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 4 November 2021.

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Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office) 12:45, 4 November 2021

If the hon. Gentleman lets me conclude my remarks, I hope that that will give him a little comfort on that point. The approach proposed by the new clause cannot be right and would undermine the long-standing principle of British nationality law that nationality or entitlements to nationality are not passed on to the second and subsequent generations born and settled outside the UK and territories.

I recognise, however, that the Chagossians present a unique case. My hon. Friend the Member for Crawley, who has long campaigned on behalf of the Chagossian communities both in his constituency and throughout the UK as vice chair of the Chagos islands (British Indian Ocean Territory) all-party parliamentary group, has indicated his intention to table an amendment on this issue on Report. I would like to reflect further on the complex issues faced by Chagossian communities in the UK and those in Mauritius and the Seychelles that have been raised by hon. Members on both sides of the Committee—I am mindful of the cross-party view—before making any significant changes to nationality law.

Hon. Members from different parties have expressed views, and I have taken on board the points raised. I say to the hon. Member for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East that there is a willingness to look closely at the Chagossian issue. With that, I hope that hon. Members will be willing not to move their new clauses.