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The story of how British citizenship developed and why this matters for questions of race, migration and belonging in 'Global Britain'

Hosted and produced by Michaela Benson.

Cover Art: George Kalivis

Production and post-production: Art of Podcast 

Feb 4, 2022

Did you know that British citizenship can be cancelled or removed? And that when the Nationality and Borders Bill passes into legislation the UK Home Secretary will be able to remove citizenship from individuals without giving them prior notice? Certain conditions may accompany this, but the government’s past record on citizenship deprivation shows that these powers have disproportionately by exercised against those from Britain’s racially and religiously minoritized communities.

In this episode we look in depth at how Clause 9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill sits in a longer history of citizenship deprivation . Over time, the UK government’s powers to strip people of their British citizenship have extended and expanded. The fallout from this has been uneven, impacting Britain’s racially minoritized communities disproportionately. Michaela introduces the case of Shamima Begum and explains the back story to Clause 9. George draws attention to the concerns raised about the extension of these powers. And we talk with Zainab Batul Naqvi, Senior Lecturer in Law at De Montfort University about how in recent years deprivation powers have been used disproportionately against Muslim citizens and how such discrimination echoes the tactics used by colonial administrators and governments.

You can access the full transcripts for each episode over on the Rebordering Britain and Britons after Brexit website.


In this episode we cover …

  • Citizenship deprivation
  • The case of Shamima Begum
  • Clause 9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill


There's been a really big expansion of the powers that the government has to strip people have their citizenship …[It’s] something that's being weaponized by the government against certain communities, more than others … It's a really big fear for many people who are minoritized and marginalised in the UK, and it's mostly people of colour.

— Zainab Batul Naqvi


Where can you find out more about the topics in today’s episode?

Zainab tweets about these issues and more @zb_naqvi

Read her latest paper in Social and Legal Studies 

Head over to the Free Movement blog for Colin Yeo’s analysis of the increase in the use of deprivation powers

Over at The Conversation Devyani Prabhat explains Clause 9

Our recommended reading is Luke De Noronha’s Deporting Black Britons


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