Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Good news regarding British citizenship for children born abroad to British mothers!

When I was on Twitter today, I noticed some new 'tweets' (posts) from Harriet Harman and was stunned to read these particular messages:

Talked to the Home Sec. We are going to scrap registration fee for nationality for British via mother from next year. Sweet tweet success

Equality Bill through the House of Lords. Great milestone for further progress on equality.

To say I am very pleased would be an understatement! I have been campaigning on twitter quite extensively to get the unfair law changed regarding British citizenship for children born abroad to British mothers.

In particular, I've addressed tweets directly to Harriet Harman (she is not just the deputy PM but also the Minister for Women & Equality) asking her how she can justify the inequality in the Borders, Immigration & Citizenship Bill, and had several replies from her with assurances that she would "get on to it". I was hopeful that the inequality would finally be addressed but since she also told me she couldn't give me a timescale, I could only keep watch on the situation and wait and see what happened.

After reading the tweets from Ms Harman today, I am very confident now that we (the adult children born abroad to British mothers) will finally get the same automatic right to claim British citizenship that children of British fathers have always had. I'm not sure about the details - why Harriet Harman states "from next year" for example - but hopefully the necessary changes to the law are at least starting to be put in place.

This news is very good news indeed! Thank you to everyone for all your support in this campaign and particularly thanks to everyone who has signed the petition started by Mrs Elizabeth Peterson.

I will be keeping a close eye on how this change to the law progresses. This blatant inequality must be corrected and I'm not going to stop my campaign for citizenship equality until it is.

Edited to add:
It would appear that I was too hasty in making this announcement because in fact nothing has changed yet. While it's true that Harriet Harman did make a promise via Twitter, it doesn't look like any changes to the law were instigated. And now that we have a new government, I can only deduce that we have to start our campaign all over again for citizenship equality. I apologise if I raised anyone's hopes that this issue was resolved.

I am closing comments to this particular post now.

Please see this Related Post for latest news:
People born before 1983 to British mothers


  1. This is very welcome news. Well done!

  2. The Equality Bill doesn't address citizenhip; it appears that the two tweets are unrelated.

    It appears that there will no changes to section 4C of the British Nationality Act 1981, just a suspension of the registration fee.

  3. To the first Anonymous commenter - Thanks!

    To the second Anonymous commenter - As I said, I'm not sure about the details but Harriet Harman also posted this on twitter in reply to someone else:

    "If your mother British puts you on the same footing as if your father British. No fee."

    This implies that it's not just "a suspension of the registration fee" as you say but rather that we will have the same right to automatic British citizenship as children of British fathers always have been able to.

  4. That's such good news!I know that you'll be well pleased, and rightly so! Flighty xx

  5. Hi Maureen: Great news! It seems like perserverance pays! I'm away from home at the moment, but I'll post the letter I wrote Ms Harman on the matter in January, when I get back. All the work that you and others have done has certainly borne fruits!

  6. Hi Greg - thanks! You're so right - perseverance works! And keeping this in the public eye as we have is also the key to our success, I think. That plus all the work by so many people, including you, Greg. Thank you!!

  7. Very very pleased! See what some social networking can do if used well? Fantastic work, Maureen.

  8. Almost American - Yes it's very good news!!

    Michelle - Thank you! I am feeling quite chuffed and proud, I must say. It does indeed demonstrate the power of social networking! I appreciate all your help in the campaign for equality in British citizenship. Thank you so much.

  9. Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!

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  10. It's wonderful to find that you and others are also fighting this extraordinary discrimination. Have there been any changes since you posted this?

    What has always puzzled me is the reasoning behind this distinction between parents: Brit dad, good; Brit mom, bad. When I was in London trying to sort out my status, a jolly official laughingly told me it was to punish "...our birds from running off with Yanks"

    I thought he was joking.
    Keep up your good efforts and please tell us how we can help!

  11. The big change since I posted this is the change in Government! I'm pleased because the new Coalition Government supports civil liberties however I don't know what their stance is about this particular issue. I have written to the new Home Secretary, Theresa May, but I haven't had a reply.

    Thanks for your support and offering to help. I appreciate it.

    It would be helpful if you add a comment to this idea:


    and sign this new petition:


  12. This page and petition is very naive and not fully factual on our plight, so for actual and up to date info from the very beginning on the subject of the CHILDREN AND MATERNAL PARENTS AGAINST IMMIGRATION & GOVERNMENT NATIONALITY SITUATION from the person who persuaded parliament to the 2001 amendment and also the 2006 all party agreement that the sex discrimination would end this last great wrong of Parliament.
    Sadly they fail to live up to their promises to me, but I am still working on it and we are a very very LONG way from full equality in matters of Nationality and Citizenship, this petition page gives misleading and presumptious information.
    please visit the Original website for us the children of British Mothers - - http://www.turberville.org

  13. Hello Michael, you are correct in saying that this particular post isn't up to date and I'm sorry if it is misleading. I appreciate all the work you are doing regarding this issue and I agree that we are still a very very LONG way from full equality in matters of Nationality and Citizenship.

    I realize that messages on Twitter are not the same as legal documents however the advantage to Twitter is that everything is made public. I do feel that Twitter can be used to our advantage to help spread the word about this continuing discrimination.

  14. I am closing comments to this particular post since it is no longer valid.