• Peri Batliwala and Stefan Donnelly

Liberal Democrats back Chagos Citizenship Bill

Christine Jardine, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats

A recent statement from Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP has highlighted the ongoing failure of the British Government to effectively tackle the inequity and suffering caused by arbitrary and unfair British citizenship rules. In an official press release, she backed Henry Smith Chagos Citizenship Bill, which would provide a path to citizenship for descendants of those born on the Chagos Islands.

Referring to the lesson of the Windrush scandal, she notes that Chagossian families are being split apart because of unjustifiable government policies.

She cites the case of a Chagossian girl in Milton Keynes who will face deportation when she turns 20 if the current unjust policy towards Chagossians is not redressed, and calls it “utterly deplorable that the Home Office… should consider splitting apart families who have already been torn away from their homes and communities.”

UK Chagos Support Association warmly welcomes the backing of Christine Jardine MP and the Liberal Democrats. Her backing is a big boost to a growing cross party consensus that change is needed now to stop the travesty affecting the Chagossian community in the UK.

We join Ms Jardine in urging Home Secretary Sajid Javid not to delay a decision on this any further and to end the threat of a second exile for the long-suffering Chagossian people.

Christine Jardine's statement in full

“The government cannot kick the can down the road on Chagossians’ futures forever in the hope it won’t be noticed. We will not let them repeat the mistreatments of Windrush."

“The Home Secretary has promised to consider this appeal for months now. He must immediately confirm whether the government will support the BIOT Bill and quash the worries of the descendants of those evicted from Chagos, who can’t return home and can’t meet the steep costs of citizenship."

“This is is the Windrush scandal all over again. This Conservative Government has neither learned nor changed.”

#Chagos #Chagossians #LiberalDemocrats #LibDems #ChristineJardine #Citizenship #Immigration #HenrySmith

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