Letter: Citizenship for our colonies

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The Independent Online
Letter: Citizenship for

our colonies

Sir: It is reported that the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary has ordered a review of Britain's relations with its colonies.

A measure that would restore confidence would be to give back to colonial citizens the parity of citizenship that as citizens of the UK and Colonies they formerly enjoyed with UK citizens.

The British Nationality Act (1981), which reclassified those of us connected with the UK as British citizens, created a new British Dependent Territories citizenship for colonials, which does not give a right of abode in Britain. This was entirely because of the perceived need to stop immigration from Hong Kong. The few thousand other remaining colonial citizens were not seen to present a problem.

Full British citizenship has since been accorded to Falkland islanders. With Hong Kong no longer being a British colony - and yet another designation of British National (Overseas) having been devised for its citizens who wish to retain a form of British nationality! - there can be no rational impediment to giving full British citizenship to our few remaining colonials.


London SE16

The writer was head of the treaty and nationality department in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from