Coffee House

Tory MPs express concern about ‘stateless’ plan for terror suspects

1 February 2014

12:51 PM

1 February 2014

12:51 PM

Concern is growing across the House of Commons about Theresa May’s last-minute amendment to the Immigration Bill rendering foreign-born terror suspects ‘stateless’. Today on Radio 4’s the Week in Westminster, I interviewed Laura Sandys and Mark Reckless, two Tory MPs who occupy rather different ends of the Conservative spectrum. But both expressed discomfort with this proposal, and were clear they’d voted for it because they’d been promised a briefing afterwards. This is what Sandys said:

‘I supported it after I was assured that we would have a proper debrief and discuss it after it had gone through the House of Lords, and I am quite concerned about it, I don’t think that it is a good default position to be in, I do not like legislation on the statute book that could be used by a very different sort of Home Secretary in a different climate in a different way, so I will look forward to getting a little bit more reassurance on those particular matters.’

Reckless added:

‘There was some suspicion that it was intended to prevent a debate and vote on Nigel Mills’ amendment about Bulgarian and Romanian restrictions. I, like Laura, have some concerns about this. I did vote for it, I wasn’t actually sure whether to support it or abstain. In the end I did vote for it.

‘But I’m not sure it’s good enough for us to have a debrief afterwards or rely on the House of Lords, I mean, so far this year we’ve had 144 hours of Parliamentary time in the Commons. Only 33 of that has actually been used for legislation and within that this really crucial Immigration Bill was squeezed to four and a half hours of debate of which the Home Secretary’s opening speech took up one third and I just don’t think that is the sufficient level of Parliamentary scrutiny, particularly from the elected Chamber, who ultimately must be responsible for this legislation.’

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This amendment was snuck in at the last minute. There is some suspicion on the Liberal Democrat side that it would never have been in the Bill had it been raised as part of the proper negotiations before the legislation was published. It will be interesting to see both what the Lords makes of the proposal, and how MPs respond when it returns for ‘ping-pong’.

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Show comments
  • DaHitman

    Can we have a list of names who they are and then we can (censored) them off back to the Liberal and labour Parties

  • perdix

    Presumably a naturalised Briton will have had a previous nationality to which he can revert if he has held dual nationality. With British nationality removed he would in that case be a foreign national who could be asked (forced?) to leave the country. Hopefully.

  • http://allectus-allectus.blogspot.com Allectus

    I think the proposal is a good idea. If somebody is foreign-born, they should be able to revert to the nationality of their country of origin; if they can’t, then I really don’t see that this should be our problem. I would also be happy to extend this principle to anyone who holds dual nationality, or who has a right to foreign nationality, foreign-born or not. If such individuals engage in terror-related activities abroad (fighting, training propaganda, fundraising, etc.), then they should be refused readmission to the UK. Deciding what to do with them will then be somebody else’s problem.

    • James Strong

      This thread is exasperating me more than any thread I can remember.
      So few of the commenters are addressing the difference between suspect and criminal.
      What you are proposing is the power to prevent a British passport holder, not convicted of any crime, to be denied entry at the border.
      Scercely believable, and yet that is what so many are advocating.
      Why not just use the law as it is?
      Prosecute and, if there is a conviction, punish.

      • http://allectus-allectus.blogspot.com Allectus

        British passports are granted too freely to foreigners and I can see absolutely nothing wrong with British citizenship being granted subject to conditions.

        Suspicion of involvement in terror-related activities might result in an application for citizenship being refused, so I can see no reason why this principle shouldn’t be extended to a probationary citizenship applicable to the foreign born or, with some procedural modifications, to those who hold dual nationality, whether by choice or by virtue of the foreign origins of their parents or grandparents.

  • mrsjosephinehydehartley

    “I don’t think that it is a good default position to be in, I do not like legislation on the statute book that could be used by a very different sort of Home Secretary in a different climate in a different way,”

    I read somewhere that currently in America there is serious talk about creating new classes of people – ” citizens” and people who have “legal status ” only.

    Talk about plebians and patricians..It’s hard to believe a modern nation would even countenance such a clumsy way to segregate it’s people.

    Meanwhile here in the UK I don’t think any M.P should vote for something they’re not sure about – with or without their briefs. It seems almost speculative and these people are not employed to gamble with the rights of others.

  • Framer

    The issue seems hardly discussed here while the headline talks of considerable unease on the Tory benches about stripping naturalised British citizens of their nationality. In fact two backbenchers evinced a little concern when asked.
    The de-naturalised Britons do not become stateless at the moment of stripping. They revert to their previous nationality which they will not have lost by also becoming British as most countries permit dual nationality. If the individual loses British nationality, they are no longer dual nationals. Sorted.

    • James Strong

      All of that might be OK, but the proposal is still about suspects rather than convicts. If the proposal was about people convicted after due process and with the presumption of innocence always in place then the argument would be different.
      I am very concerned at the tone of most of the comments on this thread; so many here seem to be ready to punish mere suspects.
      Don’t give any government this kind of power; you’ll never get it back. Do you remember Cameron talking about a bonfire of the quangos, or Clegg talking about a great repeal act to get rid of New Labour’s authoritarian laws? Where are those measures now?
      And if anyone believes that governments will only use the powers they take for themselves in the limited way they say they will when they take them, then you need look no further than the prosecution and conviction of Maya Evans, convicted under serious organised crime legislation for reading out the names of war dead at the Cenotaph.
      Cameron could have set the tone on this in his first month of power by deleting that conviction and the part of the legislation that allowed it. A one-paragraph Bill could have been put through.
      To trust governments to give up power would be laughable if it wasn’t frightening.

      • Kennybhoy

        “I am very concerned at the tone of most of the comments on this thread…”

        Och Maister S it’s the Speccie Coffee House ffs! lol

  • sarahsmith232

    Isn/’t there some tiny little African country somewhere that would only too happy to ‘provide’ (sell) citizenship to them, £200,000 a pop, I’m sure there’d be some dictator takers with that. So they’d be no longer stateless, end of problem.

  • alabenn

    So two Tories are concerned about the stateless, but voted for it, can there be a story of such feeble construction as this.
    Another post on what you want as opposed to reality.
    No one except ethnics give a damn about foreign criminals, some of the rest pretend to care for political reasons or are against, because of their servile self serving attitude to the corrupt cesspit that is the EU.

    • sarahsmith232

      Check Jack Straw in the Guardian defending Labour’s time ‘the other absolutely critical thing, which you can’t measure by pointing at buildings, is that we treat each other now in our society in a different way. If you are black or Asian, gay or lesbian, there’s no question your life has been transformed by Labour, and I’m very proud to have been part of that’
      This sums it up, they only cared about positive outcomes for minorities, something they could only achieve by criminalising causing offence then turning the country into N.Korea. Labour wont even support deporting these people, it’s all they care about

  • IJMO_DS

    I still feel that if the Home Secretary gets the blame for terrorists when things go wrong, she should be given the power to deal with them. What’s the alternative, allow the Daily Mail to harass the judges until they resign, or let people who are obviously traitors and who present a threat keep their citizenship and benefit from it?

    We could as an alternative have earned citizenship instead, that can not be taken away and dual citizenship that can. Earned citizenship could be awarded to people like honours, who work in the NHS or army for 20 years, or create businesses which employ thousands of Britons etc.

  • Smithersjones2013

    The most corrupt aspect of Parliament is the ability of Government to hinder the proper representation of the people by manipulating Parliament’s time to force through unworthy legislation. Basically a bill should take as long as it takes. All elected representatives should be allowed to speak and speak in full.

    If legislation is then perceived as taking too long then that would seem to be a reflection on the quality of the legislation

    • Pip

      Westminster is no longer Democratic and as such, not fit for purpose and needs a complete overhaul. It is abhorrent that we should allow an upper house of unelected placeman to block and interfere with the will of the people. Time for all Peers to be dismissed and any new upper house should be elected only.

      • Tom M

        “Westminster is no longer Democratic and as such, not fit for purpose and needs a complete overhaul.”
        You are so correct but the tense of your sentence is wrong. The government of Britian is being overhauled as we speak, quietly a little at a time by the EU.

        • Pip

          Maybe so but the UK wont be in the EU soon and the EU wont exist in 10 years time, and hopefully many of the Eurocrats will be in jail for theft and corruption.

  • Pip

    Yet again these parasites in Westminster seem more concerned about the rights of Criminals and Terrorists than the safety of the British People. many of them will lose their seats in the coming few years and some of the main offenders such as Blair, Brown and Cameron, maybe they will lose their Liberty too.
    Vote UKIP

    • James Strong

      I’m planning to vote UKIP too, but I’m uneasy about voting with you since you seem to support punishment of British citizens without trial.
      I think we should both check UKIP policy on this, one of us might not be able to vote for them after all.

      • Pip

        I support the revocation of British nationality and forced repatriation of Foreign Born Convicted Criminals to their Country of origin once they have served their sentence, that’s all. I would never advocate Punishment without trial.

        • James Strong

          But we’re not disagreeing about what might happen after being convicted of a serious crime.
          This proposal is about suspects, not convicts.

          • Pip

            I shouldn’t worry, the Tories only make the right noises when Elections approach, once over with they will revert back to their Pro EU, Pro Immigrant, Pro Islam, anti British People stance.

            • James Strong

              I do worry, and so should you.
              Would you like these proposed powers to be available to the kind of government that telemachus would approve of?

              • Count Dooku

                It surprises me how people so readily give up their liberties to a govt just because they agree with them.

                Pip,
                What happens when you are rendered stateless (and an enemy of the British state) in 10 years time by Imperial President Milliband just because you disobeyed his edict by running UKIP-Underground and reading the Road to Serfdom?

                Once governments have a power they tend not to give it back.

                • Pip

                  I appreciate your sentiments however it is highly unlikely that we will have a Labour Government in power again for quite some time, if ever and Miliband will never be PM.

                • The Patriot

                  I truly hope you’re correct in that statement!

                • Mynydd

                  So Mr Cameron will cancel the next general election and allow you to decide who is to form the government.

      • Kennybhoy

        Well said sir.

  • Bill Brinsmead

    Very straightforward and sensible position taken by Laura saying that the Euro elections are not the main issue now and that we must keep our focus on the election in 2015. Crucial that we as a party back the position outlined by DC in the Bloomberg speech.

    Reckless and his mates show all the frustration of the out campaign. Having a commitment to a referendum isn’t enough as they know that come the event the British people will vote 60/40 to stay in.

    • telemachus

      The B*stards
      *
      Michael Howard, Peter Lilley, Michael Portillo, Peter Tapsell
      *
      Reckless, Baron
      And ? Pickles, certainly Gove, possibly even Hague

      • Bonkim

        Not many left from your list!

    • Smithersjones2013

      That is the same Laura Sandys whose Daddy (Duncan) was the founder of the British EU Movement back in the 1950’s and was the first leader of the British EU Delegation under Heath having been a Tory Minister under MacMillan. The poor woman is dripping in Europhilia.

      So much so that she is the same Laura Sandys who saw every county council ward in her seat turn UKIP and announced having seen the writing on the wall that she is standing down at the next election. She is UKIP’s first scalp.

      So of course she wants to play such matters down!

  • telemachus

    “render ‘stateless’ foreign-born terror suspects.”

    Suspects

    So Faragians will point a finger to anyone looking like an Iman and hey presto his passport is gone
    Bingo back to Jordanian torture cells
    Tory MP’s are right to be concerned
    This will never pass the Lords

    • Pip

      The point your lefty mind fails to comprehend is the majority of British People don’t care about the human rights of convicted foreign terrorists and criminals, regardless of what their own Government might do to them if they are forcibly repatriated. You speak for an ever decreasing minority.

      • telemachus

        And if we had plebiscite rule we would be hanging again

        • Pip

          Only if it is the will of the majority, that’s Democracy, I for one am unconvinced that Capital Punishment serves the best interests of the people in the long run but I suspect I am in a minority, if the majority want it then who am I to stand in their way.

          • telemachus

            There are moral imperatives
            We remain a Christian Society

            • Pip

              Those who need Religion as a Moral Compass you are indeed beyond reason and debate.

              • telemachus

                If not Christian religion, what other moral anchor would you propose

                • Pip

                  Society and our Parents teach us our morality which is then fine tuned by life experience, morality is not dictated by the fables of religions in the developed world.

                • telemachus

                  I am very sorry
                  There are absolutes
                  And absolutes cannot be given by the vaguaries of parental frailty
                  How else do we justify the sanctity of human life if there are not divine values?

                • Colonel Mustard

                  You are a hypocrite. You dare to talk about the sanctity of human life and divine values after attempting to justify the slaughter perpetrated by Stalin and Mao?

                  Sick beyond belief. You need your head examining.

                • Pip

                  I fear he is far beyond the help of modern Psychiatrics, his mind has been polluted with the nonsense and inseane ramblings of Karl Marx and as he struggles to justify his conclusions he shows his true ignorance and hatred.

                • Rainsboro

                  It’s rather like the episode of Fawlty Towers, where the psychiatrist looks at a prone Basil and says “you could get a whole conference out of him”

            • Colonel Mustard

              No thanks to you and your Godless socialist comrades.

              • telemachus

                We must embrace then convert

                • Colonel Mustard

                  ‘We must’ is a litany you spout too often.

                • telemachus

                  Exhortations may not be enough

                • Colonel Mustard

                  You will always be resisted and the more you coerce the more you will be hated and resisted.

        • Rainsboro

          A supporter of Stalin and Mao objects to capital punishment?

      • James Strong

        No, you are missing the point. This is not about convicted foreign terrorists; it’s about suspects who are foreign-born but British. Suspects.
        If you think it’s OK to punish suspects please tell us which suspects, suspected of which crimes and what range of punishments.

        • Pip

          If they are foreign born but have British Passports (that have been handed out like Confetti by the last corrupt Labour Government) then if they are deemed a threat they should have their British Nationality revoked and be deported to their country of birth.

          • James Strong

            What if they haven’t got another nationality?
            And, I assume you haven’t been convicted of a crime, can the state take your passport off you?

            • Pip

              There will always be acceptions to the general rule, the point is the vast majority of Foreign Born British Passport Holders do have a Country of Birth and there is no reason why they cannot be returned to such if they are convicted of serious crimes in the UK. The main reasons so often cited by those who support the Left and the ECHR are on Human Rights grounds and there in lies the crux of the issue.

          • telemachus

            (that have been handed out like Confetti by the last corrupt Labour Government)
            As I have rehearsed many times we have to enhance the gene pool

            • Colonel Mustard

              That’s the first time I have see the word ‘rehearse’ used for the word ‘lie’.

              I reckon your gene pool needs steam cleaning.

              • telemachus

                And as you know it is not just the Gene pool but our cultural inheritance
                And our industry(in the sense of effort) and economic dynamism

                • Colonel Mustard

                  That is just small minded provocation.

                  The eradication of socialist cant like yours is the only thing that will change this country’s destiny.

                • telemachus

                  Absolute nonsense
                  Without external stimulus we descend into comfortable decline-a symptom as you know of little englishness

                • Colonel Mustard

                  On the contrary the eradication of socialist cant like yours is a challenge that will require the most dynamic determination of the best of the English. The very survival of our nation will ultimately depend upon it.

            • crosscop

              As Thilo Sarrazin pointed out, it is stupid to bring into a high IQ country masses of people from low average IQ countries. It does not enhance the gene pool – it lowers the average IQ of the receiving country.

  • southerner

    To coin Norman Lamont, Cameron and the luvvies are in office but not in power. Drifting hopelessly with the wind, the prevailing headlines or at the discretion of their own backbenches. No principle. No plan. Just go.

    • telemachus

      Button management
      We need vision
      The vision we will get from the charismatic team of Balls-Yvette-Burnham
      I have a sense at present that the PM is meandering and would rather be doing something else
      Unlike last time where the yen was for Stamford Bridge and Lords DC yearns for the rolling Cotswold hills point to point and RangeRover Meets with Jeremy, Charlie and Rebekah
      *
      LOL

      • Pip

        Balls-Yvette-Burnham all lefty self serving socialist fools who when last in power nearly destroyed the British Economy and flooded the country with 3 million illiterate, religiously indoctrinated 3rd World Islamic Immigrants, for that alone they all deserve to rot in jail.

        • telemachus

          Come on
          This was part of the team of the Great Economic Leap Forward that gave us the modern health service, massive investment in schools
          And the Millenium Dome
          *
          All of course before Lehman blew in

          • Colonel Mustard

            A health service which under Burnham failed the elderly and helpless and schools saddled with PFI that still turned out students unable to read or write properly and thinking that Nelson Mandela won the Battle of Trafalgar.

            It is stupidity to believe that throwing tons of money at a problem solves it but it is criminal when that money is stolen from trusting taxpayers and saddles their grandchildren with crippling debts.

            The Millenium Dome as a Big White Elephant is probably a suitable symbol for your party’s legacy of failure dressed up as a boast. Using language like ‘Great Economic Leap Forward’ demonstrates you are as cynically manipulative as the charlatan Mao and is nothing to be proud of.

            • telemachus

              Whatever else Mao freed the great majority of Chinese from crippling serfdom

              • Colonel Mustard

                It is the ‘whatever else’ that should concern you. But one could hardly expect an admirer of Stalin to have any scruples about Mao.

                You are not even an apologist for the worst abuses of communism. You seem to exult in them. Sick.

                • telemachus

                  Sometimes in the march of any society there are casualties
                  You mention Stalin
                  He sacrificed the population of his eponymous City so that you could be free
                  *
                  You should get down on your knees in thanks

                • Pip

                  Socialism is to Politics what Religion is to the mind of an innocent child, Poison.

                • telemachus

                  But Socialism is to the ordinary man like nectar to the humble bee

                • Colonel Mustard

                  For ordinary men socialism has so far proven to be poisonous.

                • Pip

                  Socialism is as harmful to ordinary men as it is to the unintelligent, gullible and ignorant foolish types who would support and promote it. Even the scum Nazis has enough good sense to shoot Socialists on site, don’t believe me, do some reading.

                • Mynydd

                  Are you by any chance that Conservative MP dressed up in a Nazis uniform

                • Colonel Mustard

                  You probably think you are very clever but in reality you are disgusting beyond belief.

                  To describe Stalin’s victims as ‘casualties in the march of society’ is repulsive.

                  I reckon the proliferation of your comments and their contents this afternoon is indicative of too much alcohol. You should sober up before writing any more disgusting trash attempting to exonerate communist monsters and mass murderers.

                • telemachus

                  On the contrary
                  I am just about to exit to an in fact political event
                  So will resume on return from my mission

                • Rainsboro

                  Denouncing Kulaks or shouting “shoot the mad dogs” from the public gallery?

              • Pip

                Like all Murdering Sociopathic Egomaniacs, Mao and Stalin merely used the Political Opines of Marx in its various guises to achieve their aims and cement their power base. Evil people use such Ideologies to control the weak minded and Socialism is little more than a diluted more user friendly version of the same disgusting and damaging belief system.

              • Rainsboro

                Including the 45 million (at least) who starved to death in the early 1960s under his demented leadership

            • Shazza

              Labour’s true legacy will be the flag of Islam flying over Westminster in the not too distant future. The economy, NHS, education – all these can be remedied. But not the demographics of these people that Labour so enthusiastically and deliberately imported.

            • Mynydd

              “money is stolen from trusting taxpayers and saddles their grandchildren with crippling debts” what about the thousand million pounds the present government has added to the National Debt, or don’t that count.

          • Erictheowl

            “And the Millenium Dome …. ”
            Now I know for sure you are just a wind-up merchant!

        • Mynydd

          If socialism as failed why did Mr Cameron cap in hand go to socialist China to beg for money to build nuclear power stations.

      • glurk

        just a tip old man, have a look at the Oxford English and look up ‘charismatic’. You could be making an embarrassing mistake

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