House of Commons will sit for the first time since the recess at 14:30 BST today.
Cameron is due to give his speech at 15:30 BST on the ‘anti-terror package’ he and Clegg agreed upon over the weekend.
I am honestly concerned that the government & security agencies are playing up how severe the threat from returning ISIS soldiers is, as a reason to bolster their draconian measures with respect to civil liberties.
Ideally, the government would like to revoke citizenship of anyone who aids terrorist organisations, which, if the person is born in Britain, is illegal under international law. So to circumvent at least 2 UN conventions the UK have signed into, they want to revoke passports.
For the British citizens who want to go and fight with ISIS, this will stop them and it is legal do so – or so we think, as it has not yet been challenged in the courts. For the British citizens who have already left the UK to assist ISIS etc. this could create very large legal problems as Alan Travis points out in today’s Guardian.
It raises the risk that they might be left stateless if they have no way of travelling without their British passport. In this sense their passport is their proof of their British citizenship and without it they may be unable to exercise their citizenship rights.
If we start to render British born people stateless (which is in effect what we would if we revoked the passports of overseas Britons) on the grounds that they are considered a terrorist, the scope of what the government considers a terrorist will, I fear, drastically expand.
This is the path we can see the US on right now since 9/11 and a one they have not even slightly wavered from.
I am not saying we should do nothing with regards to returning terrorist trained soldiers, I just think the response needs to be balanced to match the threat, and giving the government the power to render a British citizen stateless is absolutely unbalanced.
If you liked this post, check out Theresa May’s 3 proposals to reduce the risk of domestic terrorism.