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Local MPs condemn authoritarian 'licence to live'

March 17, 2006 12:00 PM

Local MPs have re-stated their opposition to controversial Government Identity Card plans on the day the House of Lords voted for the third time to stop the cards being made compulsory. According to recent opinion polls, most people feel the proposed cards would cause enormous disruption and inconvenience, would not prevent terrorism, and that sensitive personal data from the cards would inevitably get into the hands of criminals.

James Paice, MP for Cambridgeshire South East said "Yet again it is the House of Lords which is standing up for liberty and against this authoritarian Government whose ID card scheme will achieve nothing for many years. The money being spent would be far better spent on better border controls and more police".

David Howarth, MP for Cambridge city, said "ID cards did not prevent the terrible attack in Madrid and even the former head of MI5, Stella Rimington, does not think that ID cards will help the intelligence services. Instead they will create an illiberal and bureaucratic system, greatly increasing the risks of identity fraud and discrimination."

"Most people now realise that compulsory Identity Cards would disrupt our lives without making us any safer", said Andrew Watson, Cambridge coordinator for the national NO2ID campaign. "The government wants to force people to show ID Cards at every turn, even to visit a doctor, but its own experts say the planned biometric technology would be unreliable. What are

the old and sick supposed to do when their ID Card stops working? Identity Cards could literally become a Licence to Live - I foresee people dying if their ID Card fails. NO2ID congratulates peers and MPs fighting this dangerous, misguided Bill."

The Identity Cards Bill goes back to the House of Commons for a further vote on Thursday, where the government is expected to try once again to force Identity Cards to be made compulsory for anyone getting a new passport.