Speaking for Ourselves

Letter: Remove Clause 9 of the Borders Bill

Letter: Remove Clause 9 of the Borders Bill


 Migrant Voice - Letter: Remove Clause 9 of the Borders Bill

Today (27 January 2022), a coalition of community groups has sent an open letter signed by more than 100 organisations and individuals to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, asking for the removal of Clause 9 from the Bill.

The letter was sent this morning to the Prime Minister and will also be copied to members of the House of Lords, who will be debating the Nationality and Borders Bill in Committee today.

Clause 9 extends the powers of the Home Secretary to remove Citizenship from British nationals. If the Bill passes with the clause still in place, the Home Secretary will not have to notify any individual whose British citizenship they may decide to revoke.

The coalition was convened by Nazek Ramadan, Executive Director of Migrant Voice and Councillor Khaled Noor, Chairperson, The Muslim Professionals Forum.

The open letter received more than 110 signatures from organisations and individuals in a 24 hour period, these include the Institute of Race Relations, Best for Britain, Operation Black Vote, HOPE not hate, and Balham Mosque & Tooting Islamic Centre, Muslim Welfare House and Gurdwara Baba Sang Ji. Individuals signing also include NHS workers, a Bishop, and a Principal Lecturer in Law.


Read the letter below: 


Dear Prime Minister,

We, the undersigned alliance, representing organisations and communities across the UK from all backgrounds, religions and political affiliations, are writing to express our deep concern about Clause 9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill (the Bill), which is currently before Parliament.

We ask that the Government remove Clause 9 from the Bill currently being considered in the House of Lords.

There are millions of us in this country who became British citizens by way of naturalisation or have ancestral links to a country outside the UK, and we now feel that our citizenship is regarded as second-class, if the Bill with Clause 9 becomes law. Considering its draconian nature and its likely implications, our sense of safety, security and belonging has been shaken.

The Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on 6 July 2021 and Clause 9 was introduced by the Government on 2 November 2021 at the Committee stage. It proposed a new clause specifying the circumstances under which the Secretary of State would be able to deprive a person of their British citizenship without notice.

Clause 9 of the Bill proposed to change section 40 (5) of the Nationality Act 1981, which requires to give “Notice of decision to deprive a person of citizenship,” by inserting a subsection (5A). It will empower the Secretary of State to deprive citizenship without having to give notice if it is not “reasonably practicable” to do so; or if it is in the interests of national security, diplomatic relations or otherwise in the public interest. This is indeed seriously concerning.

The UK Government currently has greater powers to deprive individuals of their citizenship than any other G20 country. Since 2011, the power to deprive citizenship has been used to strip at least 441 people of their citizenship, with 104 cases in 2017 alone. The proposed new discretionary power to deprive a person of citizenship without notice is fundamentally against our democratic values; rule of law and “fundamental principle” of the UK legal system that “notice of a decision is required before it can have the character of a determination with legal effect”: R (Anufrijeva) v SSHD [2004] 1 AC 604 per Lord Steyn (Lords Hoffman, Millett and Scott agreeing). Hence, adding Clause 9 would be manifestly wrong in law and common-law requirements of procedural fairness.

Clause 9 is unconstitutional and should be removed from the Bill. It breaches the common law, international legal standards, and human rights law.

However, we want to go further. We call for the powers of deprivation of British citizenship to be scrapped altogether, because of their discriminatory nature and incompatibility with democratic values.

We believe that citizenship is a right, not a privilege, and should not be subject to arbitrary deprivation. We are concerned about the increasing use and expansion of deprivation powers over the years and through changing governments. 

The existing powers to deprive an individual of their citizenship, contained in section 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981, as amended, are constructed in ways that greatly and disproportionately affect Black, Asian, and other minority ethnic citizens, who are far more likely to be dual nationals or be eligible for another nationality, and groups that are already marginalised.

These powers include the right to strip a dual national of their British citizenship if the Secretary of State for the Home Department is satisfied that it is “conducive to the public good”. For a naturalised British citizen, even if they are not a dual national, they can be stripped of their citizenship if the Secretary of State is satisfied they have acted in a manner “seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the UK”, and has a “reasonable belief” that the person can become a citizen of another country, even if it makes them stateless. Some have already been made stateless.

The power to strip people of their British citizenship is a draconian measure with a disproportionate impact that is an affront to justice and to any sense of citizenship as a unifying status of all who possess it.

By introducing Clause 9, the Secretary of State proposes to exercise these powers in secret, which would affect the ability of a person to challenge the legality of the deprivation decision taken against them. As stated by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, it would render their right of appeal ‘meaningless’ and risks violating their right to a fair trial.

We call for Clause 9 to be removed from the Bill and a frank and fundamental discussion to be opened up about the government’s powers to remove citizenship.

Yours sincerely,


Nazek Ramadan, Executive Director, Migrant Voice

Cllr. Khaled Noor, Chairperson, The Muslim Professionals Forum

Toufik Kacimi, CEO, Muslim Welfare House

Harvey Singh Sehejpal, General Secretary, Gurdwara Baba Sang Ji. Smethwick

Bishop Paul Hendricks and Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, Co-chairs, Christian Muslim Forum

Dr Nazia Khanum OBE DL, Chair, United Nations Association Luton

Ashok Viswanathan, Acting Director, Operation Black Vote

Oli Khan MBE, Senior Vice President, Bangladesh Caterers Association- UK

Ferdous Ara, Management Committee member, Muslim Community Association

Zafar Khan, Chairman, Luton Council of Faiths

Jabeer Butt OBE, CEO, Race Equality Foundation

Frances Webber, Vice-chair, Council of management, Institute of Race Relations

Maurice Mcleod, CEO, Race on the Agenda

Satbir Singh, Chief Executive, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants

Tim Naor Hilton, Chief Executive Officer, Refugee Action

Sian Summers-Rees, Chief Officer, City of Sanctuary UK

Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Chairman Board of Trustees, Balham Mosque & Tooting Islamic Centre

Dr Halima Begum, CEO, Runnymede Trust

Dr Edie Friedman, Executive Director, The Jewish Council for Racial Equality


Oli Khan, President (London Region), UKBCCI

Ahmed Fettah, Chairman, Forum of Algerians in Britain

Samantha Patel, Chair, Redbridge Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Shahnaz Saad, Vice chair, Purbachal (The Eastern Sky) Luton

Moazzem Hussain, Director, Creative Vision Luton Limited

Md Perve Qureshi, Chairman, Voice for Newham

Khider Surchi, Director, Surchi Interpreting and Translating

Ramya Jaidev, Co-founder, Windrush Lives

Ibrahim Sayam, Director, Sayam & Co Limited

Ali Kazmi, Founder, Save Our Citizenships

Salahadeen Kadier, Director, Linrose care


Remzije Duli, Director, Kosovar Albanian Youth Against Violence

Diana Nammi, Executive Director, IKWRO-Women’s Rights Organisation

Suheil Shahryar, Chair, United Nations Association Harpenden

Beth Wilson, CEO, Bristol Refugee Rights

Eleanor Brown, Managing Director, Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seeker

Alimamy Bangura, Trustee, RAPAR (Refugee and Asylum Participatory Action Research)            

David Brown, Chair, Birmingham City of Sanctuary

Jihad Sleiman, Director, Grangemount Services Ltd

Mohamad Badir, Director, Exotica properties Ltd

Naomi Webb, Executive Director, Good Chance Theatre

Rafael dos Santos, Founder, High Profile magazine

Liba Ravindran, Founder, Anti-Oppression Circle

Veecca Smith Uka, Founder, Fresh Grassroots Rainbow Community

William Gomes, Director, The William Gomes Podcast

Amos Schonfield, Director, Our Second Home

Barbara Drozdowicz, Chief Executive Officer, East European Resource Centre

Naomi Smith, CEO, Best for Britain

Dr Abdullah Faliq, Managing Director, The Cordoba Foundation

Rachel Cooze, Chair, Swansea Underground

Christopher Desira, Director, Seraphus

Luljeta Nuzi, CEO, Shpresa Programme

David Jonathan, GRASSROOTS Programme

Shaukat Patel, Director, Lydney Laundrette

Malik Uddin, Vice Chair, British Bangladeshi Business Forum UK ( BBBF UK)

Ros Holland, Chief Exec, The Boaz Trust

Denise McDowell, Chief Exec, Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU)


Steve Squibbs, Secretary, Southampton Stand Up To Racism

Barbara Forbes, Steering group member, Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network

Lisa Matthews, Coordinator, Right to Remain

Manthan Pathak, Coordinator, Southampton Stand Up to Racism

Habib Rahman, Chair Person, Migrant Voice

Yvonne Blake, Community Development Practioner, Migrants organising for rights and empowerment

Dr David Cheesman, Secretary, United Nations Association Luton

Beth Frieden, Collective Member, Unity Centre Glasgow

Indre Lechtimiakyte, Legal and Migrant Support Manager, Samphire

Nurul Islam, Convenor, Ilford Community Initiative

Paul Holborow, Organiser, Stand up to Racism

Rosie Carter, Director of Policy, HOPE not Hate


TAM Hau-Yu, Head of Campaigns, End Violence and Racism Against ESEA Communities (EVR)

Miroslav Cuba, Support Advocacy Worker, Ando Glaso SCIO

Imran Shah, Campaigns Officer, Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK

Julia Rampen, Media Director, IMIX

Mohamed Said, Deputy Manager, Finsbury park Mosque

Dilowar Khan, Director of Finance and Engagement, East London Mosque

Lumturi Podrimaj, Project Manager, Advice NI

Omar Leon, Organiser, Caribbean Labour Solidarity

Bhavini Patel, Activist, Extinction Rebellion

Sarita Jain, Secretary, Luton Community Health Forum

Ana Asatiani, Expert by Experience Co-ordinator, Refugee Action, RAS Voice

Lee Pinkertol, Project officer, The CREME Project

Stephanie Habib, Project Development Officer, English for Action London

Nancy White, Priest, Leeds Diocese, Church of England

Alketa Hystuma, Caseworker and Advocate, Lewisham multilingual advice service and Shpresa programme

Farhana Chowdhury, Teacher, Joint membership secretary, Purbachal

Kathleen Lennon, Befriender, Shpresa

Erina Sula, Compliance Team Leader, Norton Rose Fulbright

Katie Fallon, Parliamentary Coordinator, Campaign Against Arms Trade

Akhtar Khan, Stand Up to Racism &  Kashmir International Human Rights Watch

Esther Lie, Volunteering Engagement Officer, King's College London

Robin Red, External Coordinator, XrUnify

Maria Chrysostomou, Interpreter, Language Services Associates

Deanna Wright, UK Must Act



Zaki Chehab, Publisher, Arabs Today

Abdel Bari Atwan, Editor in chief, Raialyoum

Maha Burbar, Managing Editor, Raialyoum

Wijdan Alrubaiee, Journalist

Haitham Moussa, TV Studio Director, Numedia


Dr Anwarul Haque, Dean and the Academic Lead, London School of Commerce and IT

Dr Mohammad Alramahi, Principal Lecturer in Law, University of Bedfordshire

Bill Acharjee, Equality and Diversity Adviser, University of Brighton

Elaine Chase, Professor Education, Wellbeing and Development, University College London

Nando Sigona, Professor of International Migration and Forced Displacement, University of Birmingham


Hosneara Banu, Member, Purbachal

Tariq Saad, Member, Purbachal

Natalie Ratner, Member, Calderdale Stand up to Racism

Jason Thomas-Fournillier, Member, RAS Voice

Emerencia, Member, Unity Sisters

Gentiana Vasili, Teacher, Shpresa Programme

Lediana, volunteer, Shpresa Programme

Erick Mauricia, CSN Care Group Limited


Elizabeth Norden, Piano Teacher

Ismail Farhat, Banker

Faiza Ali, Interpreter, NHS

Shahina Ismail, Teacher and SENDCo, Christchurch Primary School

Naeem Bilal, Engineer

Nevila kamberaj, Case worker, Perry Clements solicitors

Miles Ahad, Volunteer

Nassereddine Chadouli

Philip Ologe, student, University of Strathclyde

Akef Abuinsair, Maths and Physics Teacher

Adnan Shamdin, Volunteer

Zeenat Mannan, Linkworker, Luton & Dunstable University Hospital.

Abdel-Hamid El-Belihy Consultant Clinical Oncology, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

Saida Hammoud

Emad Ali, East and North Hertfordshire Trust

Ahmed Habib, Consultant, NHS

Manal Elgendy, Doctor, NHS

Lateef Idowu, Blackstone Solicitors

Dr Khalid Mansour, Consultant Psychiatrist, NHS

Rita El-Helou, Self-Employed

Gareth Glynn

Sandy Dhes, Social worker, LCC

Amr Shabana, Consultant, NHS

Katie Henderson, Trainee Health Psychologist, Private Social Care in Trafford

Abdu Mahdi, student, University of Dundee


Get in touch

Migrant Voice
VAI, 200a Pentonville Road,
N1 9JP

Phone: +44 (0) 207 832 5824
Email: [email protected]

Registered Charity
Number: 1142963 (England and Wales); SC050970 (Scotland)

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