House of Lords clears UK Immigration Bill

08 May 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The Immigration Bill has been approved at the third reading at the House of Lords, meaning the legislation has been cleared.

The reading took place on May 6th following months of debate and amendments. Among the changes agreed to by peers, was the decision to enable a child born before July 2006 to an immigrant mother not married to the natural father, to become a British citizen automatically.

Under the British Nationality Act 1981, children born after this date already have these rights.

An amendment was also approved that will require a joint select committee to carry out a review before a new power could be given to the home secretary, permitting her to revoke British citizenship, even if doing so would render the defendant stateless.

Home secretary Theresa May has been seeking for sometime to approve her plan to deprive terror suspects of British citizenship, even if this would leave them stateless. The Lords, however, are aware of the risk of approving the power to render someone stateless and look unlikely to approve the suggestion any time soon.

Shadow Home Office spokesperson, Baroness Smith of Basildon, summed up the third reading of the debate: “We are pleased that the bill has seen significant improvements both in amendments and concession from the government addressing issues raid by noble Lords. This is a much improved bill [due to scrutiny by the House of Lords].”

The House of Commons will now review the bill themselves again in order to take in to account the changes made by peers. It is likely that it will bounce between the two houses for some time to come as the final details are put into place.