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Orders of the Day — Identity Cards Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:08 pm on 20th December 2004.

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Photo of Charles Clarke Charles Clarke Home Secretary 5:08 pm, 20th December 2004

I shall make a bit more progress and then give way to another Liberal Democrat.

The point that I want to emphasise in considering this question is that the drive towards secure identity is happening all over the world. For example, under current plans, from next autumn, British tourists who need a new passport will have to have a biometric one to visit the United States, or a biometric visa instead. We will rightly have to bear the costs of introducing the new technology to enhance our passports in any case, but I believe that we should take the opportunity of that investment to secure wider benefits, such as those that I have just set out.

The security issues here are critical and they need to be faced up to by those who oppose the introduction of the scheme. A secure identity scheme will help to prevent terrorist activity, more than a third of which makes use of false identities. [Interruption.] A third of terrorist activities make use of false identities and we need an identification process to deal with that. It will make it far easier to address the vile traffickingin vulnerable human beings, which ends in appalling tragedies, and the exploitative near slave labour or forced prostitution that exists as a result of the traffic in people. It will reduce, as we have just discussed, identity fraud, which now costs the United Kingdom more than £1.3 billion every year.

Annotations

David reynolds
Posted on 28 Dec 2004 4:46 pm (Report this annotation)

The proposed ID card scheme will not contribute to the "required"* biometric passport it only adds to the cost, massively. The actual requirement is far less costly to implement that what the Government want to spend our money on.
*In fact the far less ambitious plans for the EU biometric passport have already been determined to be unworkable by a technical committee set up to do the feasability study for the Council of Ministers.

David reynolds
Posted on 28 Dec 2004 4:58 pm (Report this annotation)

If they know a third of terrorists use false ID, but wont give us details for security reasons, then they must know 100% of terrorist and of those who are using false ID. If they are that good they why do we need a card? I know ETA have been functioning perfectly well in Spain for years, even with ID cards and under a relatively oppressive regime. I am sure most terrorist work on not being caught period, rather than on using false ID to live their "normal" lives.

David reynolds
Posted on 28 Dec 2004 5:00 pm (Report this annotation)

£1.3 billion will not be saved by the ID card. The bulk of said fraud these days occurs without the card holder being present; internet transactions and the like. The ID card cannot help with these.