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Orders of the Day — Identity Cards Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:29 pm on 20th December 2004.

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Photo of Mark Oaten Mark Oaten Shadow Secretary of State for Home Affairs, Home Affairs 6:29 pm, 20th December 2004

I am delighted to hear that. I am not sure whether it is an invitation to go to Wales for health care.

The Government claim that illegal working is another reason that we need ID cards. I accept that there is a problem; anybody who saw the tragedy at Morecambe bay realises that something must be done about illegal working. There are, however, existing powers to handle illegal working and the problem of immigration. The Government have set up powers whereby the police can check individuals' working papers, although, in 2002, only two individuals were prosecuted for employing an illegal immigrant. The reason that there were only two is not because those individuals did not have documents that could be checked—they must have those documents—but because it was not a policing priority and it was almost impossible for the police to find their whereabouts. How on earth would an ID card make any difference at all?