The government's controversial Identity Cards Bill has this week made another small step towards completing its passage through parliament and is now set for a crucial vote in the House of Lords in January.
The bill has just completed its "committee stage" in the House of Lords, where no further amendments to the legislation proposed by the government were passed.
Home Office minister Baroness Scotland of Asthal also resisted pressure from Lords to reveal more details on the cost breakdown after academics warned the government's £5.8bn calculation is flawed and that the real cost could hit almost £30bn.
The "report stage" of the bill will now take place in mid-January in the House of Lords where the legislation is expected to come in for stronger criticism from peers and be put under much closer scrutiny.
Amendments to the bill can still be proposed at this point with the final reading and vote in the House of Lords taking place shortly after completion of the report stage.
The Lords can throw the ID cards bill out here but the more likely scenario is that it will be passed with amendments. If the Lords do throw the bill out then Prime Minister Tony Blair may be forced to invoke the Parliament Act to override their vote and get the bill passed into law.
Any amendments passed by the House of Lords are then passed back to the House of Commons for MPs to accept or reject. The bill will continue to be passed between the two Houses until the amendments are agreed on, before it finally gains the Queen's Royal Assent and becomes law as an Act of Parliament.