The hasty decision to take away the rights of a high-profile Isis recruit is likely to face a legal challenge. Whether or not it was lawful, it was wrong
The shocking and shameful decision to strip Shamima Begum of her citizenship not only deprives her of her rights, but does a disservice to this country. Though Sajid Javid inevitably framed it as the kind of “tough decision” that home secretaries have a duty to take, it looks much more like an attempt to find a short-term political fix than a decision in the long-term national interest.
It is unlawful to make someone stateless. But Mr Javid believed he could act because some of those born to migrants are automatically granted their parents’ original nationality – even if those parents have since been naturalised as British. Bangladesh now says this was not the case with Ms Begum and that it would not allow her in. The 19-year-old, who went to Syria and married an Islamic State fighter four years ago, appears to have been unaware that she might have Bangladeshi nationality and it is thought that she has never even visited Bangladesh. A woman who was born in Britain, raised in Britain and radicalised in Britain is now being treated as someone else’s problem.