News Archive

UK ID Cards

by msecadm4921

The Government is making good progress with its plans for national, compulsory ID cards, the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, claimed as he published the Home Office’s response to the Home Affairs Select Committee’s report on ID cards.

A national, compulsory ID card scheme will ensure that the UK can meet the challenges of the 21st century. according to the Government. It will, it is claimed: help protect the UK against terrorism, organised crime, identity theft, illegal immigration and illegal working; allow UK citizens to travel and carry out everyday transactions easily and securely; and ensure that public services are only used by those entitled to them. The Government is announcing, in response to the comments of the Home Affairs Select Committee, some refinements to the scheme, which are:

A single, universal ID card for all UK nationals, to be issued alongside passports. This will simplify the operation of the scheme, and reflects public support for a universal card. A new executive agency will be set up incorporating the UK Passport Service and working closely with the Home Office’s Immigration and Nationality Directorate. The verification process will be simpler and more secure. There will be a standardised on-line verification service which will make the system more secure against fraud and provide a full audit trail, it is claimed.

Mr Blunkett said: "Our plans to bring in a national ID card scheme lie at the heart of our work to ensure that the UK can meet the challenges of a changing world. Biometric ID cards will provide a simple and secure means of verifying identity. Together with electronic border controls they will help us tackle illegal migration and working, organised crime, terrorist activity, identity theft, and fraudulent access to public services, as well as helping our citizens travel freely and complete everyday transactions securely and easily. I am pleased that the Home Affairs Committee accepted the clear and convincing case in favour of a national ID card scheme. As I have made clear from the start, this is a long-term project and we are determined to get it right. Pre-legislative scrutiny and consultation are a key part of that approach, allowing us to continue to refine and improve plans for the operation of the scheme to ensure it is as effective and efficient as possible. I welcome the constructive suggestions the Home Affairs Committee and others have made, and the improvements to the scheme I am announcing today will make our planned scheme simpler, clearer and more effective. I will now bring forward legislation to bring in a compulsory, national ID card scheme."

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