The next six groups to get ID cards?

The Government continues to (micro)chip away with its incremental plan to introduce ID cards to all.

The Home Office has formally applied to widen the scope of ID cards for foreign nationals granted further leave to remain in the UK.

Regulations laid before Parliament last week mean that six more categories of applicant would have to provide their biometrics (fingerprints and photo) from 31 March 2009:

• Academic visitors granted leave for a period exceeding six months
• Visitors for private medical treatment
• Domestic workers in a private household
• United Kingdom ancestry (Covers people who are Commonwealth citizens, have a British grandparent and can demonstrate a link with the UK)
• Retired persons of independent means, and their partners and children
• Sole representatives (Overseas employees recruited by an overseas company to act as their sole representative in the UK)

These groups are expected to join the foreign nationals (students and those applying to remain in the UK on the basis of marriage) who received the first ID cards back in November. The student category is also being widened to include postgraduate doctors and dentists.

So to recap, unless you’re a British worker in a “sensitive” role, or a young adult in 2010, or a foreign national applying for leave to remain and even contribute to the economy, or don’t look old enough to buy alcohol, or are from Manchester then there’s nothing to worry about, right?

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4 Comments

  • Of course, the problem is not the cards, but the database behind it, and the increased control that the Government have over the people as a result.

    Two proposed use cases for the National Identity Scheme demonstrate the direction this is going – the Government knowing when you buy booze and fags, even if you pay with cash, when you use your ID card to prove your age, and the Home Secretary having the right to revoke your ID record and deny you medical treatment.

    The Lib Dems are doing a good job on these issues in Westminster, with John Leech’s EDM being a good example. Unfortunately, this policy isn’t really trickling down to local government, where it’s arguably more important – right now councils have the ability to pass motions which provide some protection to their residents.

    As a NO2ID co-ordinator I’ve had Lib Dem councils tell me that they’re not interested in doing this, that the Lib Dem motion which merely says that ID cards are bad and we should spend the money on police instead is sufficient. This is a really big deal, particularly in Manchester, and I’m sad not to see the Lib Dems taking more action on this front.

    One thing everybody can do is join NO2ID and throw them a few quid a month; there are local groups all around the country with which you can get involved. The money helps pay for leaflets and events to spread the word. Up in Manchester we’re working with unions, with theatre companies, with the local press to get the message across.

    While NO2ID is a non-partisan campaign, when people ask which parties are opposed to the National Identity Scheme, it’s only correct to point out the Lib Dems’ record on this issue. A strong local NO2ID group is good for Liberal Democrats.

  • I’ve been hearing that there’s some kind of proposal in the works to deny CRB certificates to people who refuse to obtain an ID card in order to compel airside staff to get cards (they need CRB certs for airside passes). Is there any truth to this?

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