Minister rejects Tony Blair’s ID card call

by | Jul 7, 2024 | Politics

The government has ruled out the introduction of digital ID cards, after former Labour Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair said they could help control immigration. Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds initially said the home secretary would “be looking at all sources of advice” on the issue. However, he later told Times Radio ID cards was not part of the government’s plans. Sir Tony brought in legislation for compulsory identity cards when he was in office but the scheme was scrapped by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government. Writing in the Sunday Times, Sir Tony said: “We need a plan to control immigration. If we don’t have rules, we get prejudices.”In office, I believed the best solution was a system of identity so that we know precisely who has a right to be here.”With, again, technology, we should move as the world is moving to digital ID. If not, new border controls will have to be highly effective.”However, asked about the possibility of introducing digital ID cards, Mr Reynolds told Times Radio: “We can rule that out, that’s not something that’s part of our plans.”Opponents of identity cards have raised concerns about the potential impact on civil liberties and what they see as unnecessary data collection by the state. Tackling illegal immigration is one of the major challenges facing the new government. So far this year, more than 13,000 have crossed the Channel in small boats. The figure is higher than numbers for the same period last year, although in 2023 as a whole there was a drop compared to 2022. The previous Conservative government had hoped to send people who arrived in the UK illegally to Rwanda to deter small boat crossings. However, no migrants were sent to the country under the scheme before the Tories lost power. On Saturday Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer said the Rwanda scheme was “dead and b …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nnThe government has ruled out the introduction of digital ID cards, after former Labour Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair said they could help control immigration. Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds initially said the home secretary would “be looking at all sources of advice” on the issue. However, he later told Times Radio ID cards was not part of the government’s plans. Sir Tony brought in legislation for compulsory identity cards when he was in office but the scheme was scrapped by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government. Writing in the Sunday Times, Sir Tony said: “We need a plan to control immigration. If we don’t have rules, we get prejudices.”In office, I believed the best solution was a system of identity so that we know precisely who has a right to be here.”With, again, technology, we should move as the world is moving to digital ID. If not, new border controls will have to be highly effective.”However, asked about the possibility of introducing digital ID cards, Mr Reynolds told Times Radio: “We can rule that out, that’s not something that’s part of our plans.”Opponents of identity cards have raised concerns about the potential impact on civil liberties and what they see as unnecessary data collection by the state. Tackling illegal immigration is one of the major challenges facing the new government. So far this year, more than 13,000 have crossed the Channel in small boats. The figure is higher than numbers for the same period last year, although in 2023 as a whole there was a drop compared to 2022. The previous Conservative government had hoped to send people who arrived in the UK illegally to Rwanda to deter small boat crossings. However, no migrants were sent to the country under the scheme before the Tories lost power. On Saturday Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer said the Rwanda scheme was “dead and b …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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