Nationality and Borders Bill: Bishop of Durham speaks in support of amendments on children’s citizenship

During a debate on the Nationality and Borders Bill on 27th January 2022, the Bishop of Durham voiced his support for amendments to ensure that British Citizenship should not be withheld from a stateless child born in the UK:

The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I am trying to imagine how it could ever be in the best interests of a child born and raised in this country not to be given the right to be a citizen of this country. In what possible circumstances could we decide that it would be in the best interests of someone born and raised in this country to be decreed, at the age of 13 or 14, a citizen of another state? That is the situation. You could almost forget the 1961 convention, human rights and so on; we are simply talking about the best interests of the child. You can then back it up with all the international stuff on top. I support these amendments.


Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con): In answer to the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Durham, for children born in the UK who do not become British and do not have any other nationality, there are specific provisions to register as a British citizen. A child can be registered as a British citizen if they were born in the UK, have always been stateless, have lived in the UK for five years and make an application before their 22nd birthday. This means that, if a child is stateless and has had no other citizenship or nationality from birth, they can effectively be registered on reaching the age of five, rather than after the age of 10, like other children born in the UK.

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