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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 January 2006, 14:24 GMT
Identity Cards Bill
AIM
This bill is to provide UK citizens with a secure and reliable form of identification, to limit false asylum-seekers and to facilitate the provision of welfare services to those eligible.

MAIN PROVISIONS
BILL'S PROGRESS
Responsible department: Home Office
Origin: House of Commons
Introduced: 25 May 2005
Second reading: 28 June 2005
Committee stage: 5,7,19 & 21 July 2005
Remaining stages: 18 October 2005
Consideration of Lords amendments: 13 Feb, 13, 16, 21 & 29 March 2006
LORDS
First reading: 19 October 2005
Second reading: 31 October 2005
Committee stage: 15,16 & 23 November 2005, 12 & 14 December 2005
Report stage: 16, 23 & 30 Jan 2006
Third reading: 6 Feb 2006
Consideration of Commons amendments: 6, 15, 20 & 28 March 2006

ROYAL ASSENT: 30 March 2006
  • Covers the whole of the UK, to establish a National Identity Register
  • Details of the content, issuing of and access to the cards and the information thereon
  • Creates the position of National Identity Scheme Commissioner and makes it a criminal offence to be in possession of someone else's, improperly obtained or false documents
  • Provides the powers to make registration for a card compulsory though it would not be compulsory to carry it

    KEY VOTES
    13 February 2006
    Commons consideration of Lords Amendments
  • Plans to put people applying for passports on the ID cards register
    Ayes: 310, Noes: 279
  • Plans to force people to get cards when they apply for passports
    Ayes: 310, Noes: 259
  • Compromise of agreeing to new legislation before cards are made compulsory
    Ayes: 314, Noes 261

    6 March 2006
    Lords consideration of Commons Amendments

  • Peers voted to insist on their amendments, making cards voluntary
    Contents: 227, Not contents: 166

    13 March 2006
    Commons consideration of Lords Amendments

  • Commons voted to overturn Peers' amendments which make ID cards entirely voluntary
    Ayes: 310, Noes: 277

    15 March 2006
    Lords consideration of Commons Amendments

  • Peers voted to insist on their amendments, making cards voluntary
    Contents: 218, Not contents: 18

    16 March 2006
    Commons consideration of Lords Amendments

  • Rejection of Lords amendments
    Ayes: 292, Noes: 241

    20 March 2006
    Lords consideration of Commons Amendments

  • Peers voted for new Lib Dem amendment keeping ID cards voluntary until 2011, but compulsory from 2012
    Contents: 211, Not contents: 175

    21 March 2006
    Commons consideration of Lords Amendments

  • MPs overturned Peers' amendment to keep ID cards voluntary until 2011
    Ayes: 284, Noes: 241

    BACKGROUND
    The legislation was introduced in the last session as part of the government's attempt to combat terrorism, to prevent the use of false identities by terrorist and organised crime groups.

    The proposals have attracted widespread criticism.

    On ideological grounds there is a belief that people should not be beholden to the state in this way.

    And practically there is a fear that it may become compulsory to carry the cards and ethnic minorities may be subject to more frequent checks than others.

    The Conservatives were officially opposed to the scheme until Michael Howard declared himself in favour on 13 December - much to the chagrin of senior members of his shadow cabinet including Oliver Letwin.

    The Liberal Democrats are firmly opposed to the bill.

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