✯✯✯ Essay On British Citizenship

Monday, December 20, 2021 11:28:40 AM

Essay On British Citizenship

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Can You Lose Your British Citizenship

It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. Cookies on GOV. UK We use some essential cookies to make this website work. Accept additional cookies Reject additional cookies View cookies. Hide this message. Home Citizenship and living in the UK British citizenship. Apply for citizenship if you have indefinite leave to remain or 'settled status'. Print entire guide. Related content Replace or correct a UK citizenship certificate. Brexit Check what you need to do. Explore the topic British citizenship. Is this page useful? Maybe Yes this page is useful No this page is not useful. Thank you for your feedback. Report a problem with this page. What were you doing? What went wrong?

Government policy has been, since the British Nationality Act first created British citizens, to keep the number of British citizens small. How citizenship is defined and what rights and responsibilities are attached to citizenship tells us a lot about a nation or polity. These are basic questions of political philosophy and the basis of democracy, after all. For a lawyer, this is an easy question to answer. The British Nationality Act also creates other forms of British national as well; British citizenship is only one form of British nationality. As the Windrush scandal has highlighted, there are many long term lawful residents of the United Kingdom who might be expected to be British citizens — and who often themselves thought they were — who in fact were not.

There is a disconnect between popular understanding of citizenship and the law. The same issue arises with EU citizens resident in the UK. One of the reasons they and others feel that they have been badly let down by since the Brexit referendum was called is the fact they moved to the UK as of right as citizens of the European Union counted for nothing under UK electoral law. EU citizens, apart from Cypriot, Irish and Maltese nationals, did not have the right to vote in the referendum. The underlying reason for this disjunct between the law and popular expectation is that the United Kingdom has nationality laws but not citizenship laws. In legal terms, British citizenship has become little more than a revocable immigration status, as highlighted by the rise in citizenship stripping on ever widening grounds.

Aside from the long standing policy to limit the numbers , there is no coherent citizenship policy on what ought to be really fundamental questions for any polity: why is citizenship important, what are the rights of citizens, who should be entitled to be a citizen, who should be encouraged to be a citizen and who should have their citizenship taken away? With one notable and soon to be lost exception, there is not a single right and not one responsibility that is unique to British citizens. We can go through all the rights and responsibilities we might associate with citizenship: the right to live in a country, to vote, to stand in elections, to work, to claim benefits, to be joined by family members, to hold a British passport, to serve on juries or even to be loyal to the state.

The one exception that is genuinely unique to British citizens compared to other residents of the United Kingdom and other holders of different forms of British nationality is that British citizens are also citizens of the European Union, a status that carries with it the right of free movement across all 28 member states. That right will be lost with Brexit. There was a review of citizenship by Lord Goldsmith QC back in on which this blog post draws. As a result, in , substantial and controversial reforms were made to the British Nationality Act with a view to implementing a considered but controversial citizenship policy.

The changes were never implemented and in Theresa May as Home Secretary announced the new government would not implement them. The reforms were never removed from the statute book, though, and in theory could one day be resurrected. This is defined at section 2 of the Immigration Act The right of abode only exists at all because a series of legislative measures in the s and 70s were introduced to restrict movement to the United Kingdom of British subjects, a status which extended whether they liked it or not to citizens of independent Commonwealth counties and Citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies.

Prior to that, the right of a British subject to live in Britain was so obvious and embedded in common law that it did not need stating in statute. British citizens are the main group who possess the right of abode, but some Commonwealth citizens also possess it. Further, some British citizens can have this right to live in their own country taken away from them see below. For completeness, qualified EU citizens and their family members also currently possess an exemption from immigration control by virtue of section 7 of the Immigration Act , but that will be removed after Brexit.

Who does and does not have the rights to vote and to stand in general elections for Parliament is determined by the Representation of the People Act Sections 1 1 and 4 confer these rights on Commonwealth citizens if they are resident, have leave to enter or remain in the UK or do not require such leave, as well as resident Irish citizens. Other lawful settled residents such as holders of indefinite leave to remain and settled status do not have the right to vote in general elections, although EU citizens do have the right to vote in local elections. The electorate for referendums is based on the electorate for general elections, meaning that EU citizens had no say in the decision whether to remain in or leave the EU in , nor would they have a say in the now unlikely possibility of a new referendum.

That is, unless they naturalise as British citizens, which some tens of thousands subsequently have. The current situation — offering the right to vote to some residents who are not citizens but not others — makes no sense and is discriminatory. There is a rational case for limiting voting rights to citizens only or to expanding it to all permanent residents, but it is hard to see any justification for maintaining the status quo. The rules on who is obliged to perform jury service when asked are similar to those applying to the right to vote but come from a different legal source: the Juries Act There is another, rather obscure, exception. Section 8 of the Alien Restriction Amendment Act remains in force and provides that:. No alien shall sit upon a jury in any judicial or other proceedings if challenged by any party to such proceedings.

Oddly, this only applies if raised by one of the parties. In common law, an alien is any individual who is not a British subject. In statutory terms, British subjects are virtually extinct today. I doubt the issue has arisen, but I imagine a court today would interpret that as being any of the different types of British national. There is no easy reference point for determining which residents of the United Kingdom are entitled to access the social safety net and which are not.

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