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ID cards now to come in 2010

30 March 2006

MPs have approved a compromise scheme for the introduction of identity cards.

The compromise means that anyone who renews a passport will be put on a national ID database, but will not be forced to have an ID card until 2010, instead of 2008.

This would delay the introduction of ID cards until after a general election, making the scheme acceptable to the Conservatives who are against it. The ID scheme had been repeatedly blocked by the House of Lords.

However, in a vote on Wednesday, the House of Lords backed the compromise by 287 votes to 60. It was later approved by MPs in the Commons by 301 votes to 84.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke called the deal a "sensible and acceptable compromise". The costs of ID cards would be determined after the bill becomes law, he told MPs.

Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said the deal was "a major climb-down by the government" and that a Conservative government would repeal the legislation.

Protest group NO2ID disputed the term “compromise”, saying that the problem had always been the database and not the ID cards. National coordinator Phil Booth called the scheme a self-destructive policy to dwarf the poll tax and that millions were already vehemently opposed to it.