Home Affairs

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:30 pm on 29th November 2004.

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Photo of David Blunkett David Blunkett The Secretary of State for the Home Department 4:30 pm, 29th November 2004

No, no. If people are asked to produce their driving licence and they do not have it, they are asked to attend a police station with it. If they attend a bank and the bank wants to check their identity, it will accept an ID card. If they do not produce an ID card, it will expect to see a passport or some other immediate form of identification. The question has been put, "If you want to get a passport, will you have to produce your ID card?" No; when people get a passport, they will get an ID card, which is the point of the system. They will not have to carry the ID card everywhere they go, but they may well choose to do so.

On Second Reading, which will occur before Christmas, I hope to disentangle and demystify the proposals in the Bill. The process has been a struggle and we have consulted on the matter for the past three years—on 14 December, it will be three years since the issue was first raised with me on Radio 4. A Sub-Committee of the Cabinet first considered the matter in January 2002; then we had a major consultation; then a draft Bill was produced for scrutiny; and now we have a Bill. Around 80 per cent. of the population are up for it and are on board. It is sad that those who are paid as professional politicians to study such things seem to understand less and less—and here is one of them.