Identity Cards Bill
Lord Lloyd of Berwick (Crossbench)
My Lords, I have taken no part in any debate on this Bill so far, and I assure your Lordships that I shall be extremely brief. However, I have been stung by some things that were said by the noble Lord, Lord Peston, and to some extent by the noble Lord, Lord Richard.
The noble Lord, Lord Peston, said that this debate is no longer about identity cards but about the respective or relative responsibilities of the two Houses. It would be irresponsible of this House, he said, to stand its ground at this stage; I believe that he used a word even stronger than irresponsible. Yet it is not only about the relative responsibility of the two Houses; it is also about the rights of the individual against the Executive. Those who are now the Executive gave the clearest promise to the people that identity cards would be rolled out on a voluntary basis. I can see no ambiguity at all in the manifesto—and ambiguity cannot be created out of it, however much they may wish to do so. That promise having been given, the Executive ought to be kept to it. That is why, on this occasion, I will vote in favour of the amendment.