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Foreigners: Identity Cards

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether foreign nationals will be required to carry identity cards with them at all times within the UK; and whether the police will have powers to arrest and detain anyone whom they believe to be a foreign national until such time as their identity is proved. (186469)

The UK Borders Act 2007 expressly provides that regulations may not make provision to require a person to carry an identity card for foreign nationals at all times. The police may arrest and detain a person but only where there is suspected involvement in an offence and not simply because they believe the person to be a foreign national.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what ways the requirement for foreign nationals to have identity cards within the UK will be monitored; and what assessment she has made of the likely effect of such monitoring on community relations. (186470)

When the new requirement for foreign nationals to apply for an identity card under the UK Borders Act 2007 commences this year, we will record how many cards we issue—and to whom. Details of our roll-out strategy will shortly be published. We do not expect the new requirements to affect community relations, although we are presently engaging with the Commission for Equality and Human Rights about this.