The UK House of Lords gets another chance to scupper the proposed national identity card, when the issue is debated later today. Both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are opposed to the plans, and have previously joined forces to inflict a succession of embarrassing defeats on the government.
The main issue at stake is the requirement for anyone renewing their passports to have to register on the government’s central ID card database. Those opposed to the ID card scheme claim that this element of the Bill amounts to compulsion “by the back door”.
The revolt is fully backed by conservative opposition leader David Cameron, who said last week: “This costly ID card scheme, this plastic poll tax, will be a monument to the failure of big government. And we must tear it down.”
One of the government’s arguments in favour of collecting ID card data at the same time passports are issued, is that it will enable a sensible and phased introduction of ID cards.