The Lords voted by 211 votes to 175 in favour of the new amendment, which was proposed by Lord Phillips of
This position was strongly refuted by Home Office Minister Andy Burnham, who said: “The amendment adopted today by the Lords is unworkable and we will seek to overturn it in the elected chamber. It risks inflating the cost of introducing the scheme and adds uncertainty, delay and inefficiency.”
Burnham continued: “The Government will stand firm. The Lords are choosing to ignore the fact that the Bill introduced after the Election was the same Bill passed by the Commons before it, unopposed by the main Opposition at Second Reading. At that time, in advance of the Election, our plans for introducing the scheme alongside passports were explained clearly by ministers on the Parliamentary record.
"We have listened carefully, and where convincing arguments have been made that would improve the scheme, the necessary changes have been made. However, it is clear that the Opposition parties, through their representatives in the Lords, are now playing politics with a flagship Government Bill to provide the nation with a comprehensive, safe and secure means of safeguarding identity.
“Tomorrow the Bill will return to the Commons for the fourth time: this has now become a constitutional issue. It is clear that elected Members of Parliament increasingly feel that it is time for the Lords to let us get on with the job.”