Commons passes ID Card Bill

Summary:The bill that would see the large-scale introduction of ID cards in the UK has passed its latest reading in the House of Commons, but looks set for a fight in the Lords

Political opposition to the ID Card Bill has crumbled as the controversial legislation took a significant step towards becoming law.

The Bill was passed with 224 votes to 64 as some Labour MPs joined with the Liberal Democrats in voting against the legislation.

The Tories, who had previously declared the legislation was deeply flawed, recently pulled a political U-turn and claimed they would support the legislation. However, at the crucial vote, Conservative MPs abstained from voting.

David Davis said the abstention was due to answered questions over the legislation and added the Bill had been rushed though Parliament, after the time given to debate amendments was deemed too short by opponents.

Richard Allan, Lib Dem MP for Sheffield Hallam, said: "The Bill is complex and has significant technical, financial and privacy implications that cannot be covered under the programme motion before us today. Its complexity has grown during the passage of the Bill thus far, so there are many areas that need further clarification that we will not have time to deal with."

Despite the huge majority supporting the Bill, its passage into law isn't yet guaranteed. With the Labour government keen to get the Bill into law before the expected spring general election, the Tories in the House of Lords are expected to spin out negotiations.

Any protracted debate on the legislation in the Lords will mean the government won't have enough time to get the Bill though the Upper House before the general election, effectively killing it off.

Labour could, however, reintroduce the Bill if re-elected.

Topics: Government : UK

About

Jo Best has been covering IT for the best part of a decade for publications including silicon.com, Guardian Government Computing and ZDNet in both London and Sydney.

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