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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.


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.