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Should we be able to deprive people of British nationality?

(44 Posts)
Lilygran Mon 08-Oct-12 11:51:53

I was reading about the career of Abu Hamza who came here from Egypt as a student, married a British woman, divorced her and remarried a foreign national and appears to have been a quite undesirable person but remains a British citizen. People can lose their knighthoods, peerages, OBEs - why not nationality if conferred after birth?

Greatnan Mon 08-Oct-12 12:07:19

He has been a citizen, ie. resident, but has be been naturalised? (I think Al Fayed applied for naturalisation and was turned down.) I expect we all hope that he becomes resident in the USA for many, many years.

annodomini Mon 08-Oct-12 13:03:32

Mohammed Fayed has consistently been denied a British passport. I think Abu Hamza is still referred to as an 'Egyptian Islamist preacher'.

Greatnan Mon 08-Oct-12 13:16:25

I will always think of myself as English, no matter where I live. I don't see how you can change that - although you can change your legal status.

gillybob Mon 08-Oct-12 14:30:29

Yes I believe we should Lilygran If someone is not born in Britain than they are effectively fostered into British society. If they then go on to breed the kind of hatred to all things British like we have seen in AH then he should be stripped of his Britishness.

I think we ought to be much pickier who and when we allow someone to officially become a British citizen.

Barrow Mon 08-Oct-12 14:45:57

Of course anyone, not born in the UK, who breaks our laws should be able to be stripped of their British status. However, where does that leave AH's wife. I think she is a foriegn national, who supported her husbands views, but her children will have been born in UK, if we try to deport her then she can argue it would be against her human rights to separate her from her children, who I don't see wanting to leave UK.

harrigran Mon 08-Oct-12 14:53:30

Not wanting to leave the UK, tough I think they have lost the right to have any say in the matter.

absentgrana Mon 08-Oct-12 15:07:50

Tricky. Yes, if someone commits criminal acts in the UK after being granted Brit cit status, it is not unreasonable to reconsider their Brit cit status. Much trickier when it comes to dependants, especially children who have had little or no say in any of the matters.

Barrow Mon 08-Oct-12 15:11:53

harrigran the point I was making was that the children would have been born here and are therefore British - they couldn't be deported even if we wanted to (and as I understand it some of them have broken the law and are or have served prison sentences)

LaGrandeDuchesse Mon 08-Oct-12 15:24:17

I wonder about immigrants who move here then marry and have children (or just have children). Usually everyone is sure that the children should stay here but really, other countries are not so bad. Ok they don't have our standard of benefit payments but are we really saying that everyone in AFrica or the Middle East or Pakistan would be happier in the UK? Ways of life are different but not necessarily sad or cruel for the children. Perhaps chidren of an Asian father and British mother might do better in Asia, where children are often given more attention than here.

Would a child with no religion and in a poor inner city area in the UK do better, be happier than a child brought up a strict muslim in an Asian country. I don't agree with the assumption that they would.

So the whole family should be deported. Though I'm not talking about teenagers here, but small tots and babies. Why shouldn't the British mother adapt to the foreign country of her husband, many do.

janeainsworth Mon 08-Oct-12 15:32:09

According to the Telegraph, AH's second wife, Najat Mostafa, lives in a council-owned 5 bedroomed property worth £1million, even though only two of her eight children still live with her. Several of the children also live in other council-owned property.
Despite living on benefits, AH bought a former council flat nearby and sold it for £125K profit. He also owned a house worth £280K which was seized to pay legal bills.
If this is the price we pay for being a tolerant society, does anyone think it is worth it, especially when the recipient of our generosity is determined to undermine all those beliefs and values we hold dear?

Movedalot Mon 08-Oct-12 15:33:20

Barrow I might have more sympathy with his wife and children if I hadn't read that most of his sons have criminal records, I think it was 7 criminals and 2 not! IMO it should be on a case by case basis and this family has cost the taxpayer a huge amount of money in benefits and legal aid but seem to contributed nothing. I see no reason to keep people in this country when they behave so badly and add nothing to the country.

MargaretX Mon 08-Oct-12 16:37:58

On the application form for a british passport abroad there are -I think- 6 categories of British. I am firstclass being born in England of British parents. Then it goes on to say that truly British are only people with British parentage no matter where they are born. Having a British wife entitles you to live in Britain but you are not a 'firstclass' british citizen. My eldest daughter is British ( and German like I am as well) but her son could claim British citzenship anytime because his MOTHER is British. But he would not have an automatic right to live in Britain.
Before 1984(?) anyone born in Britain became British. That is no longer the case.
Abu Hamza once out of Britain should have trouble getting in again.

Barrow Mon 08-Oct-12 16:47:36

Movedalot I agree with you completely but the thing is I believe if they were born in this country they are British so can't be deported (I may be wrong but in any event they could claim that as they have always lived here deporting them would breach their human rights).

Personally I would drop the lot of them out of a plane over Afghanistan!

Greatnan Mon 08-Oct-12 17:57:38

If I were a girl or woman in a strict Muslim country, such as Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan, I would take any risk to get out of it.

janeainsworth Mon 08-Oct-12 18:13:47

greatnan But do you think we should be able to deprive someone of British nationality?

JessM Mon 08-Oct-12 18:35:41

I think that once a country has decided to give someone citizenship, then that should be an irrevocable decision. Must be an irrevocable decision.
These decisions are made on the basis of immigration laws which have developed due to historical reasons.
Where would it leave people if countries started picking and choosing about who could keep citizenship?
And what would taking away citizenship mean? Withdrawing a passport? This can be done already but the citizenship remains.
So what else are we suggesting?
Expelling them across the borders? Where to? What if that country did not accept them at their border? There is potential for the ports of the world to fill up with stateless people that no-one wanted.

Put the boot on the other foot. Your DS or DD falls in love with a Chinese person. They marry in this country. After a longish legal battle, maybe proving that their Mandarin is up to scratch as well, they are granted permission to move to China. They give up their UK citizenship in order to be granted Chinese citizenship. They have a child. Several years later the spouse gets into trouble with the law. Should the Chinese government be able to decide your child and grandchild are therefore a bad lot and put them on a plane back to the UK, knowing that they will not be granted entry? Or withdraw their passports so that they cannot visit you?
No, once citizenship is granted it must be honoured.

Greatnan Mon 08-Oct-12 18:39:26

Thank you, Jess, you posted while I was watching 'Eggheads'! I agree with you completely.

Lilygran Mon 08-Oct-12 19:09:47

My OP didn't suggest any sanctions against a family. It did suggest that where someone has acquired nationality, this might be reconsidered if the person turned out to be someone who would not be granted citizenship if they applied.

Greatnan Mon 08-Oct-12 19:43:51

If somebody lied to get citizenship there might be a case for rescinding it, depending on the severity of whatever they had concealed. For example, if a convicted sex offender failed to disclose his conviction.
I have never thought about this before, so I am not sure of the legal position, but I am wary of kneejerk reactions.

JessM Mon 08-Oct-12 20:14:06

Yes I know you didn't *lilygran" but the thread wandered in that direction and I was just trying a "thought experiment" with an imaginary example.

JessM Tue 09-Oct-12 09:19:19

Thought of a better example while having a shower.
Australia have some nasty criminals. Organised crime/biker gang/gun crime criminals. If we assume (and it is not unreasonable to do so) that some of them were born as UK nationals and at some stage gained Australian citizenship.
How would we feel if the Australian government decided that these people (who may or may not have convictions) were no longer persona grata and we could have em back on the next plane. It would be a kind of breach of international understanding about what granting citizenship means.

Bags Tue 09-Oct-12 09:37:57

Well put, jess. I've a feeling that Egypt might not want Hamza back in just the same way. If he were to apply to become an Egyptian citizen again, that would be a different matter. Otherwise, it looks as if there would be people sloshing about the globe, so to speak, with no nationality. How would we cope with them? Periodically put them on a one way rocket into space? Somehow I don't think that's an option.

Greatnan Tue 09-Oct-12 09:39:48

Your reasoning has convinced me, Jess!

annodomini Tue 09-Oct-12 10:27:35

There are people 'sloshing about the globe' who have no nationality. There was a small group of them parading in the Olympic opening ceremony who were stateless.