ID card compromise reached in Parliament

The Commons and the Lords have both passed an amended form of the government's ID cards bill

Both houses of Parliament have agreed to a compromise proposal that will see ID cards become mandatory for passport holders by 2010.

Previously the ID cards bill, which the House of Lords has rejected five times over the past few weeks, required anyone renewing a passport to also receive an ID card by 2008.

The amendments mean that until 2010 those renewing passports will be able to opt out of receiving an ID card but will still have their biometric and other personal details entered into the National Identity Register — the database which ID card opponents have objected to along with the issuing of the actual cards.

In a vote yesterday, the Lords approved the amended proposal by 287 to 60 while MPs passed it 301 to 84.

Charles Clarke, the home secretary, said pricing for the ID cards will be determined once the bill becomes law.

Home Office minister Andy Burnham said he was "delighted" to back the amended proposal and added it "preserves the integrity" of the National Identity Register while "meeting the concerns" of those who opposed mandatory ID cards.