Papers!

If it passes, as it almost for certain will, it will be with an English rather than a German accent this time when the police demand “papers”:

MOST Britons will be forced to have an identity card within five years after MPs defeated the Lords last night, despite a Labour backbench rebellion.

Moves to require people to buy ID cards when they request or renew a British passport were carried by 310 votes to 279, a majority of 31.

The Identity Cards Bill will now go back to the Lords, who had voted to decouple the issuing of ID cards from passports, blocking ministers’ plans to add millions of people to the identity register each year technically on a voluntary basis.

The Lords must decide whether to insist that passport applications stay separate from identity cards, amending the Bill again in a “ping-pong” with the Commons, or to give way, which is the more likely option.

Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, moved amendments overturning changes made to the Bill by peers, saying that the Government had made clear that it envisaged linking ID cards to passports as part of their phased introduction.

Applicants for residents’ permits and for visas from certain non-European Union countries and asylum-seekers would also be subject to compulsory registration of biometric data — fingerprints and iris scans — on the identity database.

See also my essay on the fatal flaws of universal ID cards and my Jews in the Attic Test.