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I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his generous remarks, but the issue of the three-month delay was dealt with adequately from the Front Bench during the opening speeches.
The critics of ID cards keep wheeling out the old chestnut that ID cards did not or would not stop any of the notorious terrorist attacks—we have heard that any number of times tonight—but that argument ignores the enormous amount of preparation involved in and the enormous number of people who prepare the ground for such attacks. It is well known that a significant proportion of those people lie dormant by hiding behind false identities. We have already heard that about 30 per cent. of terrorists use false identities to get by.
Our security and police chiefs—the people with the awesome responsibility of protecting us from the destructive outrages of terrorists—all say that ID cards would help them in their task. The same people tell us that, although they have already successfully disrupted and prevented more than one major terrorist attack in Britain in recent months, a further attack on the capital is inevitable rather than just likely.
So to those who argue that identity cards did not prevent 9/11 and Madrid, the security chiefs of those countries are entitled to say that although, sadly and tragically, their anti-terrorist units did not prevent the attacks, that is not to say that those units have no use or that they should never have been established in the first place.
I know from taking soundings in my area that the vast majority of my constituents want ID cards to be introduced. We know from our consultations that about 80 per cent. of the British people want ID cards to be introduced. We know that all the security people want ID cards. We know that nearly all our European partners already have some form of ID card in place. There is a rising tide of support for these timely new measures; I am happy to add my support for this important Bill tonight.