Home Secretary admits it may be difficult to strip Isis bride Shamima Begum of UK citizenship

Home Secretary Sajid Javid stripped Isis bride Shamima Begum of UK citizenship last week but he has now indicated that it may be prove difficult to enforce.

Speaking at the home affairs committee, Mr Javid admitted that the power can not be used if it leaves an individual stateless.

While not commenting specifically on Begum's case, Mr Javid said: "If an individual only has one citizenship, then generally the power cannot be used because by definition if you took away their British citizenship they would be stateless.

Shamima Begum was stripped of UK citizenship last week (BBC)

"I certainly haven't done that and I am not aware that one of my predecessors has done that in a case where they know an individual only has one citizenship, as that would be breaking international law as we understand it."

It had been thought that Begum, who travelled to Syria from London to join Isis when she was 15, travelled to the UK on a Bangladeshi passport when she was a toddler, meaning she would not be made stateless.

However, Bangladesh officials have denied she has citizenship there and Begum remains in a refugee camp with her newborn baby.

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BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Undated handout still taken from CCTV issued by the Metropolitan Police of east London schoolgirl Shamima Begum, going through security at Gatwick airport, before catching a flight to Turkey in 2015 to join the Islamic State group, she is now heavily pregnant and wants to come home.
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Undated handout file still taken from CCTV issued by the Metropolitan Police of (left to right) 15-year-old Amira Abase, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Shamima Begum before catching a flight to Turkey in 2015 to join the Islamic State group, Shamima Begum is now heavily pregnant and wants to come home.
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of east London schoolgirl Shamima Begum, who left Britain as a 15-year-old to join the Islamic State group and is now heavily pregnant and wants to come home.
Sahima Begum (sister of Shamima Begum) and Abase Hussen (father of Amira Abase ) leave the Houses of Parliament in London, after giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee after three schoolgirls are feared to have joined Islamic State in war-torn Syria.
Handout comp of stills taken from CCTV issued by the Metropolitan Police of (left to right) Kadiza Sultana,16, Shamima Begum,15 and 15-year-old Amira Abase going through security at Gatwick airport, before they caught their flight to Turkey on Tuesday. The three schoolgirls believed to have fled to Syria to join Islamic State.
The famiiles of Amira Abase and Shamima Begum after being interviewed by the media at New Scotland Yard, central London, as the relatives of three missing schoolgirls believed to have fled to Syria to join Islamic State have pleaded for them to return home.
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 10 : In this photo taken from video, Shamima Begum's sister Sahima Begum attends an evidence session at Parliaments Home Affairs Select Committee in the House of Commons, on three girls who are believed to have travelled to Syria to join Daesh (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) in London, England on March 10, 2015. (Photo by House of Commons/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 10 : In this photo taken from video, (L-R) Kadiza Sultana's Cousin Fahmida Aziz, Shamima Begum's sister Sahima Begum, Amira Abase's father Hussen Abase and Lawyer Tasnime Akunjee representing the families of the three schoolgirls missing in Syria attend an evidence session at Parliaments Home Affairs Select Committee in the House of Commons, on three girls who are believed to have travelled to Syria to join Daesh (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) in London, England on March 10, 2015. (Photo by House of Commons/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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Asked about a 2014 amendment to the Nationality Act that allows UK citizenship to be removed if there are "reasonable grounds for believing" the person would be able to become a citizen of another country, Mr Javid added: "I have not deployed the power on the basis that someone could have citizenship to a second country.

"I've always applied it on the strict advice of legal advisers in the Home Office and more broadly in the Government that when the power is deployed, with respect to that individual, they already have more than one citizenship."

If Begum does not have Bangladeshi nationality, it would appear that the UK would not be able to strip her of citizenship.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has indicated that it could prove difficult to strip Begum of her citizenship (Getty)

Mr Javid hit back at suggestions his decision to revoke Begum's citizenship was politically motivated.

He said: "This power has been used by successive home secretaries and governments of different political persuasions.

"These decisions are never political in any way. It's all about the job the Home Secretary has to protect the British public.

Begum joined Isis before asking to be allowed to to return to the UK (PA)

"This is not some sort of new national security tool that I just invented or just rolled out. It goes back over 100 years."

The British Nationality Act 1981 provides the Home Secretary with the power to strip someone of their citizenship if they are satisfied such action is "conducive to the public good".

Mr Javid acknowledged that it "might be a blunt tool", adding: "It should only be used in the most exceptional circumstances and cannot be used lightly."

- This article originally appear on Yahoo UK

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