A majority of MPs on Thursday agreed to press ahead with legislation to stamp out dual nationality and ban the burqa, despite the caretaker status of the government.
Labour MPs sided with the ruling VVD, CDA and anti-Islam PVV to agree not to label the draft laws controversial, which would have put them on ice until after the September general election.
Labour, which opposes both laws, says it took the decision to continue with the legislation so that people who will be affected by the plans know where they stand as soon as possible.
‘A ban on the burqa can always be reversed,’ Labour MP Martijn van Dam told reporters.
‘Dual nationality is an issue which should be binned as soon as possible,’ he said. ‘At the moment, between 1.5 million and two million people don’t know whether or not they will have to hand in one of their passports. They need to know where they stand as soon as possible.’
But Gerard Schouw, from Liberal democratic party D66, told news agency Novum Labour’s action is risky. ‘The PvdA could have stopped this but they would prefer to debate sensitive issues, with the risk that a ban on the burqa and dual nationality will pass,’ he said.
Both issues are difficult ones for caretaker home affairs minister Liesbeth Spies who is charged with piloting the legislation through parliament. Spies said earlier this month in an interview with the Volkskrant that as far as she is concerned, both pieces of legislation can be dropped.
But several days later, the minister stressed she was speaking then as a candidate for leadership of the Christian Democrats. ‘I can and will defend both pieces of legislation,’ Spies said.
According to the NRC, Labour MP Van Dam admitted he is curious how Spies will react now the legislation has not been declared controversial.
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