475. In general.

Until 1 January 19491 the single common form of British nationality was the status of British subject2. Upon the introduction with effect from that date of the distinction between citizenship of the United Kingdom and colonies3 and citizenship of independent Commonwealth countries4, the status of British subject remained the underlying common nationality of all such citizens5, as well as of certain Irish citizens6, and for some it remained their only national status7. From 1 January 19838, however, the vast majority of holders of British nationality ceased to be British subjects