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Welcome to being British

February 18, 2021 2:38 PM

bbne (Photo by Caspar Rae on Unsplash)The Independent newspaper today reported that the Home Office had lost its appeal against an earlier judgement saying the £1,000 fee charged for a child to register as a British citizen is unlawful.

The judge said ministers had failed to assess and consider the impact of this fee on children and their rights, pointing out that for some families it was "difficult to see how the fee could be afforded at all".

The Home Office currently charges £1,012 for a child to register for citizenship, for a process that costs £372. The department says it uses the remaining £640 profit to cross-subsidise the immigration system.

Alistair Carmichael, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson, said it was "shameful" that children were being denied their rights by "extortionate" Home Office fees, and called on the government to immediately reduce the fees to no more than the cost of administration. .He added: "Instead of wasting taxpayers' money defending her bad decisions in the courts, Priti Patel should get on with fixing our immigration system so that everyone is treated with dignity and the public can have confidence that it is fair and effective."

The department must now reconsider the fee and ensure that children's best interests are taken fully into account in doing so.