Nick Clegg has signed up to a plan drawn up by Theresa May to strip foreign-born terror suspects of British citizenship – a move that would render them stateless – if they are judged to present a threat to national security.
In a last-ditch bid to reduce a damaging Tory rebellion in the Commons on Thursday, the home secretary rushed out the plan, which was branded by Liberty as "irresponsible and unjust".Liberty is right, of course. And why is Nick going out of his way to aid David Cameron's doomed attempt to placate the fruitcakes and headbangers on his backbenches?
Caron Lindsay has been given the Liberal Democrat spin on this:
I have been doing a bit of digging this morning and found someone from deep within the Westminster Bubble to give me an idea of why the Liberal Democrats would agree to something as drastic as potentially making someone stateless.
Well, actually, the Home Secretary already can do just that in two instances already. The first is if citizenship is acquired (including if you were born here) by fraudulent means or facts were concealed and the second is if the person is not conducive to the public good. It came about because of Al Jeddah who could have taken up Iraqi nationality after being deprived of his UK citizenship.
The amendment today is described as a tweak to that to enable the Home Secretary to leave someone stateless, a power that they actually had up until 2003. It would be very unusual for that to happen, I’m told, because this will not apply to people who were born here, only to people who have acquired UK citizenship. They have the alternative of resuming their former citizenship so that they would not be made stateless.
Although this amendment has been tabled at the last minute, there has been significant consultation within the Liberal Democrat parliamentary party, I’m told. They’ve looked at it very carefully and are satisfied that there are significant safeguards as this would only ever be done at the end of a legal process and would be open to judicial review. It would also only apply to a very small number of people. It also already applies to people who have dual nationality.But she comes to the right conclusion:
or me it seems to cede too much ground to those who would scapegoat immigrants and it worries me to be associated with it.