Identity Cards Bill
Lord Phillips of Sudbury (Spokesperson in the Lords (Id Cards & Charities Bill), Home Affairs; Liberal Democrat)
Amendment No. 141 and the first amendment in the next group to be debated, Amendment No. 145, are probing in nature. There are several parts of the Bill, I think it fair to say, which bamboozle a lot of us, and if they bamboozle us, they will certainly bamboozle the great British public if the legislation emerges in its present state.
Amendment No. 141 seeks an explanation from the Government about what is meant by Clause 8(2)(b). Clause 8 deals with the issue of identity cards; it starts by saying what an identity card is. Subsection (1)(a) states that an identity card,
"is issued to an individual by the Secretary of State"
and that it records registrable facts—so far, so good. Subsection (2)(b) then says that it carries data,
"enabling the card to be used for facilitating the making of applications for information recorded in a prescribed part of the individual's entry in the Register, or for otherwise facilitating the provision of that information to a person entitled to be provided with it".
I am an old dog, legally speaking, and I have laboured hard to understand quite what that concatenation of Latinate words means, but I am still baffled. I look forward to hearing what the noble Baroness says and I hope that her brief is of limpid clarity.