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A stateless person is one who is not regarded as a national by any state under the operation of its law. As a result of the United Kingdom’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on Statelessness 1961 (Cmnd 1825), the British Nationality Act 1981 contains a number of provisions relating to stateless persons.
The principal statelessness provisions are contained in Schedule 2 to the Act but the point does arise elsewhere too. The following paragraphs provide a brief summary of the statelessness provisions – for a more detailed description, see the appropriate chapters in Volume 1 (as indicated). Under s.50(7) (and, since 21 May 2002, s.50(7A) and (7B)), a child born on a British ship or aircraft neither of whose parents is a BC (or BOTC, as the case may be) at the time of the birth will only acquire that citizenship if the child would otherwise be stateless.
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