Smirk set to stun
And it is still being missed. Thus far, the Tories’ Nationality and Borders Bill has spurred responses from organisations such as Reform Judaism, voicing concern that “Jews who had fled to UK in 1930s ‘would not be protected in 2021’”. A group of Jewish organisations, headed by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, has also expressed similar concerns. But they missed the elephant in the room - the arbitrary stripping of citizenship.
Consider this analysis by Ian Dunt for iNews. On the subject of making someone stateless, he notes “the Government has given itself the power to impose this condition on British citizens … It doesn’t matter how long they’ve been citizens. It could be half a century. They have now been established as a second-class citizen by the Home Office”. There is more.
“The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 allowed the government to strip someone of their British citizenship as long as they had another nationality. The Immigration Act 2014, pushed by then-home secretary Theresa May, went one step further. It allowed her to strip a naturalised Brit of their citizenship even if it made them stateless, as long as they could apply for another nationality”. Ring any bells?
“Under the 2014 Act, it had to ‘serve notice’ to the person that they were taking the action against them … [the Government then] gave itself the power to serve notice by putting a copy of it on the person’s file if their whereabouts were unknown”. The High Court later decided that this singularly sly device failed to serve notice.
So our Benidorm holiday rep Home Secretary Priti Patel has now included a further device to evade such inconveniences as judicial scrutiny. “Clause 9 of the bill would allow the Home Secretary to strip a naturalised Brit of their citizenship without any notice at all”. Also, “The clause then takes an extraordinary Orwellian step. It retrospectively authorises the actions the Home Office took before the High Court ruling”. Dunt’s conclusion?
“The court ruled that the Government did not follow the law. So now it is trying to pass a new law making the unlawful actions retrospectively legal … The overall effect of this clause is simple. It is designed to prevent people from securing their right to appeal”. And why should this whole charade be ringing bells for anyone who is Jewish?
Because, even if they do not hold dual nationality, or haven’t even considered taking any other nationality, Jews are entitled by the Law of Return to relocate to Israel and become Israeli citizens. So any Jews who became British citizens through naturalisation could find themselves stripped of that citizenship as they “could apply for another nationality”.
That may not be the current intention of Ms Patel and her pals. But, with the certainty of night following day, after they come for the Muslims, the far-right come for the Jews.
And the far-right have now been quietly emboldened. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
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