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Clause 1 — The National Identity Register

Part of Orders of the Day — Identity Cards Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 18th October 2005.

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Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) 5:30 pm, 18th October 2005

The European Union has already agreed to move in the direction of requiring the widespread use of biometrics. The United States has also taken such a decision in principle, as has the International Civil Aviation Organisation, to which my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak referred a few moments ago. It is up to the hon. Gentleman if he wants the British Government to stand back from that and thus ensure that British citizens have second-class passports that will not enable them to travel with freedom and convenience in the future, but Labour Members will not take that decision.

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Chris Lightfoot
Posted on 19 Oct 2005 5:48 pm (Report this annotation)

Note that ICAO standards require only the "facial biometric" (really a digitised photograph) on a computer chip in the passport. They do not require fingerprints and iris scans, and they do not require the building of a central register. Kali Mountford -- notably loyal and, I think, almost wholly silent in Committee -- misunderstands this later.